Mark Carter - Smooth As Silk

 

El Dorado born Mark Carter lives since his youth in South California. Influenced by the great Wes Montgomery he choose smooth jazz to his genre. Over the years, Carter has had the chance to perform with some of the biggest names in modern music like Dave Koz, Eric Marienthal, Al Jarreau, The Coasters, Engelbert Humperdink, Rogers Williams and The Drifters.

Ive always felt that music often communicates better than words, and Im always seeking to make that special connection, Mark comments. I remember when I was first starting out, I looked out in the audience and saw a woman smiling at something I was playing. There was a certain warmth to her look that told me I was getting through to her on a emotional level. I feel that's what God wants us to do, connect with others in any way we can.

Mark Carter's debut was It's About Time (2001), followed by West Coast Groove (2005). On his new album Smooth As Silk Mark is still been playing his Gibson 335 electric guitar, now for over 27 years. The new album was produced by Mark and his friend Tim Refield, who also performed on this album keyboards, drum loops, bass and synth. Guest musicians on this album are Greg Adams (flugelhorn, former member of Tower of Power), Sean Holt (sax), and Jeff Kashiwa (sax).

The album starts with a cover of Walking In Rhythm featuring Greg Adams on flugelhorn. The original was released by the Blackbyrds on their second album Flying Start (1975). That album was produced by jazz legend Donald Byrd, the founder and mentor of the group. Greg's horn solo levels the tune from a standard to something special worth a listening.

There's That Girl features sax player Sean Holt. Sean performed with Ricky Lawson, Kenny Loggins and Michael Bolton. He also sees himself as a crooner, gospel singer, as well as Rock & Roll, and Funk. It's no wonder that this tune has a rockish attitude.

The bell voices of Tim Redfield's keyboards pitch into Christmas feeling. Mark's smooth guitar sound warms listener's heart on Being With You, a cover of Smokey Robinson's huge hit (1981). Seek your personal fireplace.

Who can better play the sax on Funky Like Dat! than Jeff Kashiwa, former member of The Rippingtons. Tim Redfield's clavinet sound perfectly fits into this funky groove. Talk To Me Brother showcases more of Mark's talent as guitar player and writer. Tim Redfield's short piano solo gives this tune that extra thing.

The up-tempo Carnival Time brightens up everybody's mood and awakes lust for dancing. The heartfelt I Know presents anew sax player Jeff Kashiwa. It's a cover of Luther Vandross' title song from the album I Know (1998). Mark's clear and melodious guitar meets Jeff's soulful sax in an awesome duet.

April's Kiss features anew the great Greg Adams on flugelhorn. Horn meets guitar and in between jump Tim Redfield's keyboard sounds. A tune with Greg never fails. This song has a remarkable improvement from start to finish.

Old Days is certainly a highlight of the album. Mark outgrows himself showing more of his extraordinaire guitar skills.

The last tune City Of Angels gives me the opportunity to spotlight Mark Carter's great support Tim Redfield. Tim is one of those shy keyboardists, always performing in the background. He played with Brian Culbertson (Secrets) and Steve Reid (Passion In Paradise) and was also on Mark's debut album. He did again a fantastic job on this album.

Guitarist Mark Carter has a great potential. We will certainly listen to more of his albums in the future. There is no better proof for this fact than Smooth As Silk.

 

 

 

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  • Title: Smooth As Silk
    Artist: Mark Carter
    Year: 2007
    Length: 0:42:31
    Genre: Smooth Jazz
    Label: Mark Carter


    Tracks:
    01 Walking In Rhythm [3:32]
    02 There's That Girl [3:46]
    03 Being With You [4:16]
    04 Funky Like Dat! [4:14]
    05 Talk To Me Brother [3:31]
    06 Carnival Time [3:50]
    07 I Know [5:21]
    08 April's Kiss [4:42]
    09 Old Days [3:55]
    10 City Of Angels [5:24]