a fresh voice unfolds in the world of smooth jazz on this trip we have
Alexandria, VA native trumpeter extraordinaire Lin Rountree debuts
with “Groovetree” on BDK Records. Lin comes to us with an
impressive resume, consider this he’s so blessed to attend an HBCU
college Florida A&M University and to top it off he had the honor
of playing with fabulous “Marching 100” marching band. After
taking a snapshot of his esteemed qualifications, one can’t help but
pay attention in detail to what’s about to come to life musically
from Lin Rountree.
Bowman ~ guitar, Al Turner ~ bass, Ron Otis ~drums, Dana Davis ~
programming/keyboards/synthesizers, Darryl Dixon & LaFruance ~
guitar, Leslie Nelson ~ vocals, Billy Meadows ~ vocal arrangement,
D’Andre Thomas ~ bass, Bamm Davis ~ Piano, Brandon Williams ~
Programming/keyboards, Tony Gordon ~ keyboard
& Lin Rountree ~ trumpet/ flugelhorn/vocal arrangement,
Produced by Billy Meadows, Dana Davis and Lin Rountree © 2005 BDK
Rountree and his production
team called smoothjazz guitarist Tim Bowman to the studio to add his
touch too “For Your Love” the opening track on “Groovetree”.
Yes, this quest appearance by Bowman has indeed paid its
dividends in full because Rountree is beginning to savor the benefits
by getting airplay at smoothjazz radio stations across the country.
While listening too “For Your Love” I discovered that Rountree’s
tonality is quite superb as a flugelhornist his voice here accentuates
the flavor and quality of this composition (an throughout the
recording) giving it just right measure of color, shades and textures.
“Everyday” comes in at
the second spot swaying and boppin’ soulfully side-to-side in
rhythmic and poetic motion. Lin sketches each note with the
proficiency of an architect blowing his muted trumpet/flugelhorn
effectively without the effects of obtrusive nuances drawing the
listener into the fabric of the ambient urban jazz grooves of Rountree.
tonal quality on the flugelhorn continues to vibrate on “Into The
Night” yes his voice is certainly a positive asset for him. His
radiant sound stimulates your soul therefore, getting you in the mood
for a cozy and romantic evening for two.
title cut “Groovetree” switches gears with an up-tempo jam
showcasing the flipside side of Rountree’s prowess as he blows the
muted-trumpet layered with bright and colorful shades rising slightly
above the groove assuring the listener his voice has depth.
Message” is by the way the only vocal selection by Rountree. The
beautiful vocal stylings by Ms. Leslie Nelson coupled with the
Rountree’s affection for soulful and stimulating music is absolutely
refreshing! What’s so amazing about “The Message” from a lyrical
perspective is that Rountree didn’t fall into the trap that most
smoothjazz artist allude too these days by writing abrasive and
uninviting lyrics, thank you so much!
while listening too the next cut appropriately titled “Bio-Funk”,
could easily become hazardous too your welfare. Reason, you must be
attentive, and mindful that you’re driving and not kickin’ back at
the crib with the peeps cause you could very well in up getting the
unwarranted attention. Seriously, I dig this groove folks;
Rountree’s playing is praiseworthy anchored by the talented Turner,
Davis and Dixon takes the groove of “Bio-Funk” to another level.
the vibe on “Groovetree” is still on course layered with the
textures of urban jazz, with an occasional twist of R&B undertones
balances this exquisite musical palette. The next track
“Villicious” doesn’t waver by straying off the path of
familiarity as Lin’s muted-trumpet wraps you into the elegance of
his anointed voice.
comes in at the 8th spot shifting gears with just the right
antidote with riveting hooks and spicy urban rhythms featuring
Rountree on the flugelhorn/trumpet and synthesizers. The talented Al
Turner on the bass, and co-producer Dana Davis works the keys and
programming accents this relentless groove!
has definitely found his place in the framework of today’s music
with his focus locked into the inspiring melodies and infectious urban
flavored jazz this time on a track called “Akire”. This mid-tempo
groove embraces the essence of Rountree’s writing and playing style;
again Lin returns too the muted-trumpet blowing with precision and
purpose accompanied once again by Dana Davis.
final selection titled “Lullaby for Renarta” caresses your soul
with the expressions of intimacy with textures provided by keyboardist
Tony Gordon and of course Lin’s beautiful phrasings makes this a
Rountree’s debut “Groovetree” has certainly been a pleasurable
listening experience for me, one of the most compelling attributes
about Rountree is that he can not only play, he wrote or co-wrote all
the songs, which is a rarity especially for a debut artist these days.
Rountree’s tone is lyrically attractive; his compositions have
substance mixed with maturity, vision and purpose. “Groovetree”
should easily surpass the boundaries of the smooth jazz by blending
into R&B and contemporaryjazz genres without any difficulty,
thanks for sharing your music with us Lin Rountree … all the best!