If you want to be clear on the definition of Contemporary Jazz music, then look no farther than Randy Scott. His latest effort, Elevation, will make that clear for you. The album title gives you a sense of the direction he is heading. Elevation takes you through ten tracks, and it features Cindy Bradley and Anesha Birchett. You will also get a familiar song that we are sure you will enjoy.
Let's check it out!
Review - 'Elevation' by Randy Scott
We start off with a nice swing beat as Joyride begins this musical journey. It is an infectious track, and Scott's sax definitely leads the way. Do not sleep on the piano riffs and guitar licks. This should be top billing at the Supper Club on a Saturday night.
If the first song did not get you then Ignite should do it for you. Scott has it working on all cylinders here, as we get a little Latin feel. The drums are smoking and the horn parts are layered. That horn arrangement gives you some classic Tower of Power vibes.
The title track, Elevation, is up next. Scott takes us back with some 80's funk. The bassline is tight and there is a short organ solo...yes an organ solo toward the end that is oddly appetizing. All of the elements really work on this track.
Sanctity offers a little change of pace. The tempo slows down just a little and the instrumentation here is stellar. Even though the groove is at a mid-tempo pace, the sax play is still high energy. This is definitely one of the better track on the album.
We pick up the pace again with Step. With a title like that, you KNOW what to do. Just add this to your 'Steppers' playlist and let the feelings flow.
If you want to slow it down a bit, then this next one is for you. Daydreams features the dynamic Cindy Bradley. This is a horn duet that I did not know I needed. This is what an R&B based jazz song should sound like. Smooth, silky soul. Bradley's trumpet really takes this track to that next level.
Let's keep the slow jams coming with Tempo. This is a vocal track with Anesha Birchett at the lead. She is trying to "speed up the tempo" to her love, but we think she should just keep it right there, at least for a little bit. We are sure you will dig this song. The vocal arrangement will hook you from the start.
Affection, another mid-tempo jam, is up next. That snare drum is so clean, and that really stands out. About half way through there is a nice bridge, then it breaks all the way down. Scott then takes it home as he rides that groove. This is simply a great track.
At first listen, Intimacy reminds me of some of the late 90's R&B slow jams. We are definitely not mad at that! Scott does his thing on the sax here, and the piano play fills out the song nicely.
The set concludes with a remake of the DeAngelo hit Untitled (How Does It Feel). This is an interesting choice, as this version sounds like a completely different song. In some circles, this version may become more popular than the original. This is an excellent way to end the album.
Elevation is out now, so you can stream some...or all of the tracks. We recommend the album for all Smooth Jazz lovers.