By You by Konstantin Klashtorni – reviewed by Chris Mann
I think it’s true to
say that I raved about the first album, “Downtown”, by
Ukrainian-born Konstantin Klashtorni.
Well, if you read my review
you can decide for yourself…
2006 release “Led By You” recently arrived and it’s got a
different kind of vibe. I
still really like his sound – let me tell you about it…
the opening bars of the urban and funky Back It Up, I’m
already hooked. We’re
right in smooth jazz radio territory with a bubbly bassline, good
dance rhythm and fantastic horn work.
The melody is strong and the groove is even stronger.
Wow! So Lovely
has a calmer vibe – and you do need to get your breath back after
that funky opener. I
really like the way Klashtorni uses a doubled-up sax sound on the
chorus to this and some other songs.
Many contemporary jazz players and producers use this technique
– and nowhere better than here.
mood stays mellow and sexy for the next song.
I want Steve Quirk on UK’s Smooth FM to play this song all
summer! It Dews
has the catchiest sax chorus you’ll hear this year.
It’s got a hypnotic mid-tempo groove – it’s got
everything. Haven’t Got the Heart has a lot to offer too – the
soprano sax floats over a slow hip-hop drum pattern and Mitchell
Bruning’s lead vocal is just a little offbeat but perfect for yet
another hook-laden original song.
Have this guy sing on the next Zero 7 album – that might see
them return to form…
instrumental title track bounces and keeps on bouncing.
The keys on this track, like several here, are subtle and sweet
but always in the groove. This
should be on any NAC jock’s playlist this summer – it’s
flawless. Close is a very cool number with the minimum of real
‘blowing’ but the loveliest string synth sound. The backing vocals will please too on this feelgood number.
of the Hammond B3 sound will like the intro to On the Way –
it’s as though you can just feel that Leslie cabinet just beginning
to wind down. Nice.
The alto really sounds nice on this strutting mid-tempo song.
The chorus once more is highly infectious.
Michael Simon’s trumpet sounds great on here – and
Klashtorni’s sax actually sounds even better with other horns than
it does with ‘layers’ of itself.
That double-tracked (or maybe more than double-tracked) sax
adds much of the joy to the breezy, uplifting Ocean Of Joy.
The backing vocals add a really nice touch to this song that,
if there were any justice, would appear on the soundtrack to a
romantic comedy in the near future.
drawn to the deeper urban ‘quiet storm’ groove of the gorgeous Look
Around, which has some of the loveliest chord changes I’ve ever
heard in its chorus section. The
soprano sax reminds me of Marion Meadows’ sound – in other words,
it’s perfection. Michael Simon’s muted trumpet is all the solo that’s
needed on a song this strong – in my book this is the standout
track. It’s appropriate
that the final song should be titled Stay Romantic, because it
sums up the feeling of the whole album.
The alto is strongly up front on this bouncy number, which has
some of the least mechanical drum programming that I’ve heard in a
DJ’s listen up – get behind this CD in summer 2006!!
Konstantin Klashtorni may be a new name to you but he has
written and produced all ten songs here.
When he’s not been adding drum tracks, guitar and very
appealing keyboard sounds, he’s been delivering a sax sound that, as
far as the smooth jazz market is concerned, is right on the money.
Don’t wait for the next CD – get hold of this and while
you’re on KVK Music’s website
get “Downtown” too, so you can hear what I was raving about last
Music – KVK 061 Producer
– Konstantin Klashtorni