Brian Simpson - It's All Good


Brian Simpson  performed with Michael White, Everette Harp, Michael Paulo, Freddie Fox, Teena Marie, Warren Hill, Sheena Easton, Janet Jackson, Jonathan Butler, Rick Braun, Norman Brown, Allan Sams and Dave Koz. His new album "It's All Good" was released on Dave Koz' new label Rendezvous Entertainement (2005). I saw Brian on Warren Hill's Smooth Jazz Cruise 2005. Dave Koz and  Brian flew in just to play for a concert in St. Thomas. Brian has toured with Dave Koz for years as his musical director and keyboardist. 

Brian is one of those keyboardists mostly staying in the background. So I didn't recognize him till he was introduced by Dave Koz. Even at this time he remained behind his keyboard smiling to the audience. From time to time he is releasing a solo album. His previous album "Closer Still" was released in 1995. Unbelievable that it last 10 years till his new one. Let's hope that's won't be the regular period. The new album was recorded in 2004 with excellent musicians, the who-is-who of smooth jazz.

The album opens with the title song It's All Good featuring maestro Dave Koz. Brian plays gratefully piano on a Latin rhythm. The main melody is repeated by Ron King on trumpet while Dave Koz sets some improvised phrases.

Here With You has a high potential for a classic. The accessible melody sounds familiar. Nice elegant piano play. No flourishes, pure melody.

Saturday Cool reminds me at the ease of  "Soul Ballet" (Rick Kelly and Ken Ross). The combination of mellow piano and flugelhorn is unbeatable. Perfectly framed with keyboards, drums (Michael White) and percussion.

On the slowtempo Twilight Brian melted his sound with Ron King's muted trumpet. Allen Hinds adds his smooth guitar chords. Allen is temporarily touring with Brenda Russell, Down To The Bones, Jeff Kashiwa and his own group.

And The Story Goes was originally published under the title "And The Story Goes Like This" at CDBaby by "Everett B. Walters". That's the name under which Mike Brown & Harold W. Brown III have chosen to record. They've performed with The Rippingtons, Joe Sample, & Rick Braun. We will certainly hear more of both artists in the future.

Friends of Marc Antoine should listen to his acoustic guitar on Waiting. This tune was recorded in L.A. while Marc recorded his guitar sound in Madrid. No problem in the era of internet.

I Remember When is featuring Everette Harp on sax. Like on most tunes of this album Brian's  talent is glowing in some short piano riffs which are unfortunately too short for my personal taste.

On Warren Hill's Smooth Jazz cruise 2005 I met bassist and song-writer André Berry. He has written and produced great parts of Warren Hill's new album "Popjazz". He also penned It Could Happen and performed bass and drum programming on this song. Together with the great guitarist Randy Jacobs he is responsible for the funky mood of this tune. Both are playing in the group "The Boneshakers".

On Blues For Scott Brian takes the term "Blues" seriously. Roberto Vally's acoustic bass, Tony Moore's jazz-brushes, Brian Kilgore's bongo beat and Brian Simpson's magic piano touch are perfect ingredients for an authentic homage to Scott Joplin.

Au contraire means "on the contrary". Brian plays jazz on the final tune as one can hear in jazz clubs. Is jazz a contrary to smooth jazz? Brian obviously realizes the necessary co-existence of both genres.



Title: It's All Good
Artist: Brian Simpson
Year: 2005
Length: 0:45:21
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Label: Rendezvous Entertainement


01 It's All Good [3:32]
02 Here With You [4:17]
03 Saturday Cool [4:38]
04 Twilight [4:55]
05 And The Story Goes [4:28]
06 Waiting [5:26]
07 I Remember When [4:00]
08 It Could Happen [5:03]
09 Blues For Scott [5:14]
10 Au Contraire [3:48]


Brian Simpson - piano, keyboards
Dave Koz -  sax
Everette Harp - sax
Marc Antoine -acoustic guitar
Michael Lington - sax
Tony Maiden - guitars
Alex Al - bass
André Berry - bass and drum programing 
Brian Kilgore -percussion
Kevin Chokan -guitar
Ron King - trumpet, flugelhorn
Jubu - guitar
Roberto Vally - acoustic bass
Perry Hughes - guitar
Randy Jacobs - guitar
Smitty Smith - bass
Larry Kimpel - bass
Allen Hinds - guitar
Michael White - drums

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