a practicing smooth jazz piano player Skinny Hightower
prefers to listen to other styles of music like jazz and
funk. That has yielded its first positive results. His debut
album Cloud Nine (2016) received high acclaims. His
second strike Emotions will be released on Trippin
'N' Rhythm Records May 26,
On his large foray into the smooth jazz genre he is
accompanied by an armada of well known musicians such as
Charlie Duran, Kool&Klean, Rock Hendricks (saxophone),
Andrew Hawkley, Nick Colionne, David Stevens (guitars),
Antonio Rivera (acoustic guitar), Julian Vaughn (bass), and
Lin Rountree (trumpet, flugelhorn). Skinny Hightower
performs on his sophomore project piano, drums, percussion,
keyboards, bass and also serves the programming.
The album takes with Tender a fulminate start. The
hypnotic rhythm creeps into your soul until it is a part of
you. The melody is under constant energy between the
magnetic poles Skinny on the keys and Charlie Duran on sax.
The funky rhythm is also compelling pacemaker for the
vigorous Emotions featuring Skinny, saxophonist
Konstantin Klashtorni aka Kool&Klean and guitarist Andrew
Hawkley in competitive overdrive.
On The Crossroad Skinny showcases his skills and
musical range as highly gifted multi-instrumentalist,
composer and arranger. His instrument of choice is the
piano, which he rules in masterful empathy. Storms
finds Skinny and saxophonist Rock Hendricks in a
sophisticated dialogue and intimate setting.
Roses with Charlie Duran, Nick Colionne and Antonio
Rivera as guest musicians are thornless and large flowered
with the perfect smell of smooth jazz. Hightower is starting
from the scratch, no notations, no reviews, no charts. As
Taboo highlights, that doesn't bother him, he
performs with pure passion. Julian Vaughn brings with
Jubilee a special timbre into the game. He performs on
this addictive tune the piccolo bass in the style of late
The smooth ballade Closer presents sax player
Konstantin Klashtorni and Skinny in a mellifluous question
and answer performance. Konstantin also accompanies Skinny
with sax and flute on the track In The Moment
designed with a splendid arrangement. Evolver
starts with a classic approach before Skinny is joined by
guitarist David Stevens, who brings in his specialty, guitar
and voice big enough to cut through the clink of coffee cups
and casual chit-chat.
Make Me Believe is expansive sound in waves and
streams on a paved rhythm pattern. I Can't Help It
was composed by Stevie Wonder and Susaye Greene (Supremes)
for Michael Jackson's album Off The Wall. Hightower
starts off the rhythm machine and expands his rendition with
virtuosic agility. On Near Dawn he confronts a
programmed rhythm with his syncopated piano play featuring
Lin Rountree on muted trumpet in a sophisticated package.
Be Cool follows the same principle with a
continuous rhythm in contrast to his jazzy piano excursion.
The final Edge Of Forever transcends the piano
performance from a melodic something to an improvisational
Emotions is a goldmine of talent and Skinny
Hightower is the experienced mine guide to this music
treasury. His instinct and keen understanding for the
ultimate groove is the best base for more to come.