N' Touch - N' Touch

 


Smooth Jazz is still a genre with many faces. Sometimes one has the impression that the music is repetitive, then a new album of independant artists arrives with fresh sound. The music of N' Touch is a good example. Bandleader of the group is saxophonist Eldon T Jones, further members are Matthew Minnieweather (electric piano & keyboards), David Allen (lead & rhythm guitar), Anthony Jones (drums) and Terry Taylor ( percussions). 

The Portland based band already opened for such great artists as Earth,Wind & Fire, Tower of Power, Angelique Kidjo  and Boney James. After the group was founded in 1993, the members developped a level of high professionality, which is obviously listenable on their debut album "N' Touch".

The lead theme of the title track N' Touch is presented by Eldon T Jones on sax. The band plays a progressive smooth jazz with the mainweight on jazz. Some listeners compare the group with the early fusionesque Jeff Lorber or Spyro Gyra.

The slow-tempo Close To My Heart has a more smooth and romantic attitude. 

On Walk With Me, a more funky tune, Matthew Minnieweather shows his skills in piano play, although  Eldon T Jones' sax is certainly the dominant instrument on the whole album.

Old Soul has more souls than one, some funk, some soul, some smooth jazz. Eldon plays smoothly than more agressive. The music remains always melodious, even when the members start to improvise, which is often the case.

The R'n B tune Time Will Tell features the warm and energetic vocals of Tracey Harris. There are a lot of new singers to discover. What is a better platform than such an album. A melody which stays in mind, I have to stop humming.

The Latin flavored Hasta Luego starts with a thrilling sax melody in a midtempo, but on the last third the tempo increases to a fantastic drum and percussion solo.

The funky Sweet Potato Pie is a short interlude, which could be continued easily.

Rush Hour has a fusion jazz character but absolutely not the haste of the rush hour of a big city. No, the group plays a solid style but relaxed.

Some Bossa Nova is to hear on the balladesques Passages. David Allen plays his melodious electric guitar.

Keyboards and sax are the main players on the short interlude Galaxy with some spheric sounds.

On the jazzy Spirit Of The Moments all muscians showcases their funky versatility.

The final Coming Home is a slow-tempo, gospel-spirited piece. I can imagine that the audience will light their candles when this song begins.

The debut album N' Touch elucidates that Smooth Jazz is more than that music we can hear on Smooth Jazz radio-stations. N'Touch will go their way to success.