Westbound  - Miles Away


Italy has always a special flavor for me. I have often visited this wonderful country with its own character, language, cuisine and landscape. A smooth jazz group from Italy? That does certainly find my interest. Westbound are the Italians Cristian Rocco (guitars) and Enrico Catena (drums). During their music career they’ve always been influenced by artists such as Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton and David Benoit. Their collaboration began in 2001. 

Westbound's debut project is "Miles Away" (2006). Appearing as guest musicians on the record are Charlie Cinelli on bass, Giancarlo Zucchi and Beppe Donadio on piano and keyboards, among the others. 

Westbound has a great addiction to smooth jazz. So the first title Smooth is program and confession at once. A melodic decent guitar sound is floating along one's ears. The melody is appealing and unobtrusive. 

On Ivan Cristian Rocco plays his acoustic guitar with a professional attitude. The uptempo tune is elegant like a "Tequilla Sunrise" and has its hooking moments.

From NY To LA is Westbound's further approach to American culture and music. A precisely played melody line with a well-contoured guitar layered on a running bass and backed by Enrico Catena's knocking drums serves that headbopping effect.

St. Peter's Farm is a slow snuggling song, earth bounded and warmhearted. Beppe Donadio's piano excursion delivers the jazzy flavor.

Estate is a song originally created by Bruno Martino and B. Brighetti (1961). The song is about the summer and a lost love. The song became famous by an interpretation of Joćo Gilberto and is since that time a standard for many jazz musicians worldwide. Cristian Rocco's cover version is gentle reflection like a summer breeze.

Back Bay has the same rhythm like Tears For Fear's "Everybody Wants To Rule The World". I understand it as a unspoken homage. While they’ve always been influenced during their music career by artists such as Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton, David Benoit, there is some influence of Pop music too.

Spring Break is building bridges to country music. Cristian Rocco has a special affinity to Italian and American folk rock. You understand this impression by Cristian's choice of guitar style.

The group reveals a rockish attitude on The Wrong Place. Organ sound, distortion guitar and a pulsing beat are main ingredients of this tune.

The uptempo Corona Del Mar is the right music for sailing along the summer heated sea. Cultivate your style with this song.

The title tune Miles Away is unusual despite the fact that Cristian Rocco is playing the melody with a distortion guitar. Most of today's guitarists of the smooth jazz genre prefer a more smooth guitar sound which is more radio-like.

Final tune is a reprise of Smooth which underlines the smooth character of this album. Bravissimo to Cristian and Enrico for this professional start into the American smooth jazz market.





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  • Title: Miles Away
    Artist: Westbound
    Year: 2006
    Length: 0:51:45
    Genre: Smooth Jazz
    Label: Westbound

    01 Smooth [5:09]
    02 Ivan [4:28]
    03 From NY To LA [4:08]
    04 St. Peter's Farm [4:41]
    05 Estate [6:27]
    06 Back Bay [4:46]
    07 Spring Break [3:51]
    08 The Wrong Place [4:53]
    09 Corona Del Mar [4:31]
    10 Miles Away [5:06]
    11 Smooth (Radio Edit) [3:44]