need another hero. After Wes Montgomery and George Benson Ronny Smith
epitomizes the culture of jazz guitar music. After his albums Long
Time Comin (2001), Laid Back (2002),
Simply Stated (2007) he honored us with his new album Just
Groovin (2009), scheduled to release on May 19, 2009.
“As a guitarist. I’ve learned that
bands can do with you or without you regardless of your abilities.”
Ronny describes his solo career, “Your job is a filler, so I started
thinking more independently outside the band box. Thus, this project
was developed. I wanted to know first if I was capable of doing this.
That is not only the guitar parts, but if I could put my hearing to
test to see if I could bring out what I have learned and heard over
the years into a composition. I have to say Long Time Comin’ was an
effort, but I knew I’ve got a harder road ahead than I thought.”
On his new project Ronny is joined by
Vernell Mincey (drums), Tony Whitfield (bass), Alan Alexander (keys),
Scott Martin (sax), Stan Martin (trumpet), Andy Martin (trombone), and
Karl McNeil (bass). With the exception of two covers Rony has composed
all tracks on his new album.
Ronny shows sign of life with Here We Go Again. The essence of
smooth jazz is smelling to my nose. Ronny's signature guitar sound and
his terrific keyboards skills brighten our mood. Appealing guitar
chords are Ronny's trademark. The next title Smooth suggested
something mellow to me. Multi-instrumentalist Ronny Smith arranges
keyboards, guitars, bass, flutes and string to a brilliant package
supporting his captivating guitar line.
Stevie Wonder's Superstition
(1972) is a landmark in music history. Stevie wrote this tune for his
album Talking Book album. The song is immediately recognizable
for its notably funky clavinet riff which is extensively presented by
Alan Alexander on Ronny's rendition. Ronny himself encompasses the
melody with a fierce guitar performance.
Road names are a often used for song
titles. 95 Drive is especially your song for the trip to hot
Florida on the famous Interstate 95.
The title song Just Groovin has a
fantastic flow and is well supported by the Martin horns.
The Martin Brothers have recorded for artists and producers such as
Quincy Jones, Barry Manilow, Ray Charles and many, many others.
Abundant joy and a commitment to groove is the message of all
I'm Beside You is Ronny's
personal gesture of gratutude. "I'm very thankful for the blessing to
have the opportunity and the skills and the equipment to write and
perform music. I'm not much of a person with words so I demonstrate my
thanks through my songs. I'm always reminded that I'm not alone when
facing challenges and very thankful when I'm overcoming them."
Sometimes tunes are created by just
fooling around. Groove 106 is an example for it. Titled after
its metronome setting at 106 beats per minute. Music is in the air.
Forever Friends reveals the
splendid acoustic side of Ronny Smith. Ronny has dedicated the song those
friends from the past that he has lost contact with. The slow tempo
Ticket to Miami never got the Samba speed. So Ronny changed the
originally concepted title Ticket to Rio. Time for relaxation.
Finally Ronny decided to add a Bossa
Nova, the Blue Bossa. Composed by Kenny Dorham this song was
prominently featured on Joe Henderson's Page One and became
soon a jazz standard. "I play this piece so much that I really wanted
to do something different with it. The challenge was how to make it
different. So I thought Rio again but ended up, I think, in Puerto
Rico with a subdued groove, " comments Ronny.
With his new album Just Groovin
Ronny Smith is on the best way to become a guitar hero stepping out
the shadow of Wes Montgomery.
- Ronny's website
- Label info
- Further reviews
- CD available
Artist: Ronny Smith
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Label: Pacific Coast Jazz
01 Here We Go Again [4:14]
02 Smooth [4:21]
03 Superstition [4:29]
04 95 Drive [3:42]
05 Just Groovin [4:17]
06 I'm Beside You [4:30]
07 Groove 106 [4:16]
08 Forever Friends [4:04]
09 Ticket To Miami [3:56]
10 Blue Bossa [3:26]