Various Artists

The Best of Passion Jazz  - Volume 2

The history of Passion Jazz is already narrated by his owner Ralph Tee in a former interview. The interview was published on the occasion of the release of The Best of Passion Jazz - Volume I. Now Ralph Tee has opened anew the treasure-chest of his label presenting us The Best of Passion Jazz - Volume II.

The album mirrors the wide spectrum of artists with diverse music. Those which are not familiar with Smooth Jazz from USA and UK, will find a well-assorted palette for an easy entry into this genre.

The album starts with Chris Standring's "Cool Shades" taken from "Shades of Cool". This song presents Rick Braun's smooth flugelhorn accompagnied by Chris' guitar played in a Benson-like way overdubbed with some Wah-Wah-effects. This tune was rightly during several weeks in high positions of the R&R Smooth Jazz charts. 

"Dream Your Dream", the title song of Duncan Millar's first release taken from the album "Comin' Through", is a melodious guitar tune with high emotional output. Mike Smith  (sax, flute) and Mark Vandergucht (guitar) play the hooking main-theme which is replayed by Duncan on keyboards. 

Sugar & Silk's "Everybody Be Cool" is a newcomer in this illustrious circle. A nice combination of piano and sax play sets funky highlights.

Touch My Soul  from the album "Solo" is Johann Asmundson's confession to Smooth Jazz with Sigurdur Flosason's perceptive solo on soprano sax. Johann is the gifted bassist of the famous Islandian group Mezzoforte.

In late '99, early '00, Roger Odell co-produced his own CD with his son Jamie, which features among others, Larraine and Jacqui Hicks on vocals, Mornington Lockett on saxes, Jamie on keyboards, himself on drums and Maxine on backing vocals. The group is called Beatifik, and the CD is entitled "The Blue Window". The tune Coastal Road, a real beauty, was recorded after the other tunes in exchange for Toot The Shoot which was used on the latest Shakatak and Friends CD "Jazz In The Night".

"A Sunday Breeze" is taken from the Michael White Project featuring Howard Hewett. The album is called "Take That". A slow contemplative tune with Sylvia Cox thrilling background vocals. Also impressing: Ron Smith on acoustic guitar and Brian Simpson on piano.

Suanne Braun accompanied by Jason Gien-Reolon sings "Feeling Good". If you wanna know, how South Africa's most beautiful woman looks like check out http://www.geocities.com/suannebraun/. Her jazzy voice is not bad at all.

"Hypnotique" is taken from Bill Sharpe's "State of the Heart". Gerald Albright plays the jubilating flute, Bill the warbling piano. The moody  Latin rhythm  like Santana is played in by Paulinho da Costa (percussion),  Alex Acuna (drums) and Brian Bromberg on bass. 

The Jazz Steppers are playing the cool "To The Boone" from their album "The Next Step". The Jazz Steppers are Klay Dumas-Copas, Pat Leacock, Dean Mark and Tony Smith, all of whom have worked as top class session musicians in addition to their work together. Typical mixture of vibes and guitar solo shapes their music.

Jill Saward, the female singer of Shakatak, showcases her awesome voice at "Just For You" from the same-titled solo-album accompanied by Jason Rebello on keyboards and piano. 

"N'Iceland" by Fridrik Karlson a reminescence to his native country is an uptempo and modern runner revealing his guitar skills.

Nite Flyte adds their surprising "Square Route" from their album "Ascension". A midtempo tune with a jazzy jam in between. The story of Nite Flyte begins with Tony Campbell, a seasoned jazz guitarist from East London. In the past member of the group Act Of Faith inspired by the success of Down To The Bone, Tony assembled a new group of top musicians and Nite Flyte was born.

"I Am A Camera" by Arnold McCuller from his album "You Can't Go back" is pure Latin jazz. Especially the brass solo is natural South American music. Arnold has the feeling, although this song is not typical for his style.

A great rather historical collaboration was the one between Bill Sharpe and Fridrik Karlsson culminating into the group Espirito. "Wonderland" of the album "Peace Of Mind" is finest guitar music in modern dress.

The last two songs are elucidating the width between the more jazz vocal interpretation of Nonthutuzelo Puoane with "I Thought About You" from the album "Breakfast Included " and Cathi Ogden's approach from the Pop music side with "Shorter Straw" from the album "Out There". Shorter Straw presents Fridrik Karlson on Lead Guitar in a skillfull attitude.

Should you have only money for one album this year, take that!

 

HBH

 

 

The musicians:

 Too many artists to list here.

 

More informations:

 

 

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