the Night by Urban Jazz Coalition –
Reviewed by Chris Mann
Jazz Coalition are based in Columbus, Ohio and were a six-piece
band at the time that this their first CD was released.
line-up can be seen in detail on this site on the Artists
band has averaged 100 live dates per year for the last seven
years and the tight unit that comes out of this has received
widespread praise from radio, retail and other artists.
Brown is a bright and brassy opener – live bass and
drums drive the song, which features the energetic alto of Ben
something indefinably old-fashioned about this one.
so with San Juan Nights, which has
a lush latin feel. It’s
the light touch of bassist Phil Raney and the gorgeous piano of
Brandon Howard which delight.
The class of this band is evident right here.
Love this! Like
ten of the thirteen songs on the CD, this was written by the
sax honours the late, great Grover Washington Jr. on Groverfied.
This has an old skool, Incognito-type groove.
Joe Gothard’s rhythm guitar has all the flavour you
Whitted guests on trumpet and really cooks.
This is a lovely tribute.
Wonder’s Creepin’ is a song
that has been covered several times, as a vocal and an
Gothard takes lead vocal duties here.
The horn arrangement is something special – very
sexy piano’s back on Stay Close to You.
It’s a strong melody and the subtle backing lets it
shine. Rimshots, bass and guitar just keep things moving nicely.
Yeah, late night smoocher…
band pull latin flavours out of the bag easily and on Noches
Calientes you’ll be impressed at how well guest
Christian Howes’ violin and Sherburne’s soprano intertwine.
The guitar solo is a very powerful one and has that touch
of Carlos Santana about it.
Benoit’s Freedom at Midnight is a
good showcase for the talents of Brandon Howard and this version
sounds just as confident and vibrant as the original – which I
love too. Live,
this must really do the business.
sound is laid back and unadorned on the jazzy Paradise
leads over some dreamy keyboard chords.
The drums sound very live – in fact nothing here sounds
not hard to imagine how UJC come across on stage.
even further back for the thoughtful In
Our Hearts. The
trumpet intro leads into a vocal ballad – it’s an offbeat
vocal performance which reminds me of Roy Ayers.
The jury’s out on whether this totally works.
don’t think that many jazz-funk outfits cover George Michael
songs. For me, Fast
Love doesn’t do UJC justice.
Funked up and done with a sax lead perhaps…
strong tenor takes the lead on January and
Sherburne’s chops are undeniable.
The sax and guitar interplay must make this another good
live number. The
intensity builds toward the fade.
vocal Glad has a light reggae
make the Incognito comparison again.
The bass and drum groove on Just
Another Love is solid (and I’d love to hear both of
these guys going for it even more) and the rhythm guitar has
that lovely ‘Bluey’ sound.
Alto’s cookin’ on what is really a jam session.
People who have tickets for a UJC show have a treat in
is a well-rounded first release which makes the prospect of
hearing “Contempo” very appealing.
The band’s songwriting ability is such that cover
versions should remain just a small part of their repertoire.
hope that the wider exposure which comes from their association
with Jazziz magazine and its OmniMedia label doesn’t detract
from the live energy which is so evident on this CD.
There’s a strong appetite for funk in some parts of the
market which I believe they could really satisfy.
Major 6th Records – Produced by UJC, Executive Producer Alan DiCenzo