Complaining about the descent of Smooth Jazz seems to be a fashionable attitude at some bulletin-boards today. But still it's not difficult to find good music of this style with some search. One of this gems is Steve Laury 's new album Cuttin' Up. Some of you might have listen this album, which is still unreleased, at mp3.com, where Steve had periodically uploaded some of his tunes. But there was no opportunity to listen to the whole album. So, my warmest thanks goes at Steve, who enabled me to publish this review.
Steve Laury is a guitar player’s guitarist. As Steve says, “Let the music speak for itself”. In 1983, Steve startet the band known to this day as Fattburger. With Steve’s compositions, signature sound and stellar guitar playing, Fattburger immediately shot to #1 spots in R & R, Gavin and Billboard. After seven successful years with the band, Steve decided that it was time to pursue a solo career. Steve’s first three solo albums went #1 across the board. Needless to say, there was no turning back. “Now I can produce the music that I write exactly the way that I hear it.” Steve’s success as a solo artist allowed him the creative freedom that was not attainable with Fattburger.
Cuttin' Up is Steve's newest album in a long fertile artist history. Steve comments his album: "I feel this is my finest work to date."
The title track Cuttin' Up starts with Latin rhythms into a furious guitar play with reminiscences to a Russian Kosacke dance giving this piece a driving speed.The excellent guitar playing on this album is liquid, astute and superfluous.
In the tradition of Smooth Jazz stands One Summer night. A slow relaxing romantic and heartgoing song reveals anew the outstanding level of Steve's guitar play.This album definitely raises the bar for contemporary jazz.
You were in my dreams Deborah (long version) follows in a slowtempo dreamy mood. Steve put in this piece worth on the emphasis of notes giving the tune his individual atmosphere.
Here to stay clarifies itself in an accentuated play.
Speeding up the tempo on Hasta Manana to a propulsing melody Steve manifests his affinity to Latin mood.
Your eyes by candlelight starts with an impressing harmonica play introducing in a guitar duett. The harmonica play reminds me at Toots Thielemans chromatic harmonica play.
Since we met is another contemplative slow tune in the candlelight/logfire mood. A big praise at Steve's musical companions is advisable at this position who gave his masterworks the right finish.
I want be with you is the next ballade played in a slowtempo with Steve's uptempo guitar solos.
Our secret place keeps this tempo combining Steve's accentuated guitar runnings with a mixture of percussion and bass play.
On the rhythm-emphasized Fast lane Steve elucidates his brilliant leadership in guitar play.
Love hurts so bad is a romantic song, a loveletter to whom it concerns with intimate vocals.
You were in my dreams Deborah (Radio Version) begins with an Indian chant, but isn't world music. Steve prolongs the romantic mood of this appealing album. Steve’s guitar playing and composition hail him as a modern day performer who will definitely leave a rich legacy.
The album was played in by the following muscians:
Guitar: Gibson L5: Steve Laury
Keyboards: Ron Satterfield and Dave Curtis
Bass: Kevin Hennessy and Dave Curtis
Drum: Ducan Moore
Percussion: Duncan Moore, Juan Rodriguez and Jose Valdez
Nylon guitar: Mark Augustine and Ron Satterfield
Producer: Randy Wilhelm & Steve Laury
and mixed at Signature Sound studio March 1999
and mixed at Digital Barn April 1999
and mixed at Carob Tree studio and Eldridge Blues studio May
& June 1999
at Digital Barn by John Archer and Carob Tree studio by Tripp
More info about Steve Laury.