Rod Tate - Tatejazz


Rod Tate is one of those independent artists which are producing their own albums. His self-released albums are "A Taste of Eternity" (1994), "True Love Never Fails" (1995), "With You" (2001), "Let's Talk", "The Secret Place" and now "Tatejazz". He has also recorded three CD's with his band Rod Tate & Full Circle: "Live at Divinity", "Love & Family", and recently a live CD simply entitled," Live". He also is co-founder of the duo Two Smooth with Guitarist Gregg Haynes, with one CD to their credit, "Too Smooth Vol. 1". Besides these albums he also performed as an opening act for such celebrities as Spyro Gyra, Temptations, Lonnie Liston Smith or Chuck Loeb.

Rod is a self-made man. All songs on this album are written by Rod except "Over The Rainbow" (Harold Arlen & E.Y. Harburg) and "Blue in Green" (Miles Davis). He plays all instruments (Tenor, Alto & Soprano Saxophones, Keyboards, Drum Programming). He made all arrangements. Nevertheless the album sounds perfectly.

On start is Oh Yeah! This tune is the first demonstration for Rod's skills as a sax player. On a warm sound tapestry layered down on keyboards Rod plays the melody always using it as starting point for various improvisations.

If you ever was on a Smooth Cruise, you know that Rod's musical description hits the point. Rod's leading instrument is the soprano sax, Sometimes the instrument gets some oriental flavor.

On I Hear Ya Rod not only plays sax as leading instrument but also some additional horns. Anew Rod shows his affinity for long improvisations.

A slow seductive approach is The Essence Of You. Rod 's soprano sax is humming like a lovesick cat. A song for lovers at midnight.

Bass is introducing Flowin'. Garnished with keyboards chords Rod plays some sax improvisations with a short organ break.  

Deeper into smooth jazz with Sweet Thang. Rod likes the arrangement: soprano sax as lead instrument added with keyboards chords. 

Slow tracks like The Watchman are "intended to soothe you soul and speak love to your spirit" as Rod uses to say. Although his sax play is vivid I miss some variations in his keyboard play.

A Taste Of Eternity was previous released as the title song of the album "A Taste of Eternity" (1994). A slow dark tuned waltz with a big soprano sax solo.

Rod takes it serious: Let's Roll! is an energetic uptempo tune with a great horn arrangement. Rod blows like a devil.

Work It Out! has some disco feeling with its hand-clapping and the stomping rhythm. Nevertheless his sax play is fairly in the jazz area.

Over The Rainbow is a jazz classic. All Music Guide counts 1152 versions. Even Kenny G has chosen this song as one of his "Classics in the Key of G". While others sticks to the original song, Rod uses it as a starting point for an excursion into jazzy improvisations.

Another cover is Blue in Green, a piece Miles Davis originally recorded on his album "Kind Of Blue" (1959), a milestone of jazz. Relaxed straight ahead jazz. is the final tune, which is certainly another piece for classic jazz fans. 

My résumé about this album: only an independent artist can record that music he likes to play. Rod has fulfilled his dream: "An album for sax-fans".


Further information

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