Steven Lee Group - From The Ground Up


SLG currently appears at the world famous Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas where they entertain audiences from around the world. SLG has also shared the stage with Fattburger, Kansas, Richard Elliot, Kirk Whalum, Peter White, Everett Harp and The Rippingtons. The band is now together for more than three years and "From The Ground Up" is their debut album. The album is available over their website. The album is primarily instrumental but vocals are to find at the album too. "There is something for the heart and something for the mind", comments Steven Lee. Very interesting and spectacular are the videos about live performances of the group during a  SAWstudio seminar.

The Steven Lee Group are: Steven Lee - lead guitar, vocals, trumpet - Brenda Leonard Cowart - keyboards, vocals - Joe Bergeron - percussion - Adam Shendal - drums - Keith Nelson - bass - Rocco Barbato - saxophone.

The album starts with Double Play. This album is typical smooth jazz with acoustic guitar and sax in a dynamic mixed. Well arranged and perfectly played in, SLG will be acclaimed and climb up the smooth jazz charts.

Real Time approves the first impression. The song reminds at Fourplay, George Duke, The Rippingtons and the band's performance is tight. Personally I like the richness of details, the sophisticated arrangement, the clear structure with solo parts and variations garnished with much percussion.

That the Steven Lee Group can also play straight ahead is been proved by From The Ground. The melody is wandering between the group members based on a rocking rhythm.

Brenda's Theme is a slow romantic piece with preferred acoustic instrumentation and a  strings background. 

Deeper into jazz goes Birdie's Bound. It sounds like a reminiscence to Donald Byrd, one of the finest hard bop trumpeters of the post-Clifford Brown era. Instead to hard bop one can listen to modern cjazz. Steven Lee lets his guitar sings and Rocco Barbato's sax strikes the air.

Thanks Joe Bergeron for the brilliant percussion intro to Jave. A very dynamic piece showcasing anew Rocco Barbato's talent and Steven Lee's howling guitar.

Northern Lights is a slow infectious and radio friendly ballad with Rocco Barbato's sax and Steven Lee's guitar playing a punchy melody. 

King Street sounds familiar. These upbeat notes resound a little like Bruce Springsteen. Am I wrong? 

A reggae-styled intro to Still In Love jumps to an energetic cjazz piece. This fresh song is the right answer to the worn-out pop/urban contemporary/jazz formula. 

This album has much more spontaneity than many other albums nowadays. High professionalism combined with brilliant song ideas is the pavement of the walk of fame.

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