The suggestion came from two-time GRAMMY winner Paul Brown who has produced dozens of No. 1 hits. When contemporary jazz guitarist Les Sabler entered Brown’s Funky Joint studio near Los Angeles to begin tracking, Brown, also a guitarist, recommended that Sabler swap out his trusty guitar in favor of Brown’s vintage Gibson Johnny Smith model. The electric guitar that has innate acoustic qualities and balances tone and sustain gave Sabler an entirely new sound, which he used to create his eighth album, “Tranquility,” which will release January 29.
“The guitar’s sound is a sonic departure from anything I had previously recorded and this resulted in a successful single release, ‘Keep Pushin’.’ My fascination with the expressive tone of this instrument and my comfort in playing it led me to acquire my own, a vintage ‘67 beauty,” said the Nashville-based Sabler.
The guitar recommendation was the second time Sabler heeded Brown’s counsel. The first came last December when Brown was in Nashville to perform. Sabler came to the gig to hang with Brown. It was then that Brown offered to produce Sabler’s next record.
“I was both surprised and delighted that he offered to produce for me. Without hesitation, I seized the opportunity. We started collaborating immediately and two months later, we sat down to record at his studio in LA,” said Sabler.
“Tranquility” is a melody-rich, contemporary jazz listening experience. The set consists of vibrant harmonies, funky R&B grooves and sophisticated instrumental pop. Sabler’s deft and soulful electric guitar occasionally yields to his more sensitive nylon-stringed guitar, including on the eloquent beauty “Esselle’s Dance,” which Sabler says “is as beautiful as anything I have ever recorded.”
“It was such a great experience to have Paul produce the album and I was extremely comfortable with his direction and guidance. Without a doubt, this is a landmark recording for me, and I am so excited and pleased to share this music.”