Keyboardist Brian Simpson is the smiling sideman of Janet Jackson, George Duke, Stanley Clarke and Dave Koz. Hailing from Gurnee, Illinois, he started his solo career with Closer Still (1995), followed by It's All Good (2005), Above The Clouds (2006), South Beach (2010), and this year Just What You Need.

Brian Simpson performs on this album piano and keyboards. He is joined on different tracks by Jonathan Butler, lead guitar; Nicholas Cole, keyboards and programming; Darrell Crooks, guitar; Alex Al, bass; Brian Kilgore, percussion; Elan Trotman, tenor sax; Ron King, trumpet; Michael Broening, keyboards and programming; Yarone Levy, guitar, acoustic guitar; Nate Harasim, keyboards and programming; Dave Koz, tenor sax; Michael White, drums; Gerey Johnson, guitar; Marc Antoine, acoustic guitar; Oliver Wendell, keyboards; Jeff Robinson, vocals; Ray Fuller, guitar; Larry Kimpel, bass; Ronnie Gutierrez, percussion.

As a longtime musical director for Dave Koz and the Smooth Jazz Cruise Brian has dedicated himself to smooth jazz. Often, the first impression is the most important. Brian heeded this principle and leads us with Wherever You Go into his music. What we get offered by Jonathan Butler, Nicholas Cole and Brian, is at its best.

But also the title song impressed with its melodic depth, presented by Elan Trotman on sax in a prolific way. The collaboration between Nicholas and Brian Cole is a godsend, because both are on the same musical wave line. Emerald City is a clear demonstration. Nate Harasim and Simpson have engaged in romantic reverb at Soul Embrace. Yarone Levy adds on guitar more accents.

On A Love Like This Cole and Simpson are singing from the same song-sheet. This inner harmony is a blessing. With the takeover of covers Brian retains beneficial. The Brazilian jazz standard The Girl From Ipanema featuring Dave Koz is an exception but also an enrichment. D'Groove is performed very professionally. Ron King and Gerald Albright show off their skills as always.

This special dreamy atmosphere is perfectly wrapped with In The Rain. Stylistically are Brian Culbertson, Brian Simpson and Nate Harasim currently on the same line. Pat Metheny asks Are You Going With Me? and Brian follows with Castaway. Finally something cool with Des'ree's You Gotta Be interpreted by Brian on piano and vocalist Jeff Robinson in an inspiring manner.

Brian Simpson waves with Just What You Need the romantic banner vigorously. A thoroughly enjoyable album that invites you to play repeatedly.







Buy the album in all stores

Album Information

Title: Just What You Need
Artist: Brian Simpson
Year: 2013
Length: 0:43:39
Genre: General Jazz
Label: Shanachie


01 Wherever You Go (Featuring Jonathan Butler) [4:41]
02 Just What You Need (Featuring Elan Trotman) [4:47]
03 Emerald City [4:20]
04 Soul Embrace [4:01]
05 A Love Like This [4:15]
06 The Girl From Ipanema (Featuring Dave Koz) [4:45]
07 D'Groove (Featuring Gerald Albright) [4:39]
08 In The Rain (Featuring Marc Antoine) [4:26]
09 Castaway [3:56]
10 You Gotta Be [3:48]

Further Reviews:

South Beach

It's All Good