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Music Reviews

Review – ‘Just Chillin’ by Pianist Mike Levine

 February 21, 2021

By  ExoticDJ

Mike Levine has been in the game for quite some time now. His first release was  back in 1981, as co-leader of the Ross-Levine Band. Since then, mike has been releasing music as a solo artist, and also as a featured artist on some other popular albums.

Just Chillin is Levine's fourth release. The album contains 13 tracks, and some of his friends come along for the ride, including Steve Oliver, Andy Snitzer, Will Lee, Nestor Torres, and more.

Review - 'Just Chillin' by Pianist Mike Levine

Let's Do This is a groovy tune, where Levine rides that bounce beat with some funky keys. Andy Snitzer is on the sax, and these two lead instruments give you a good vibe as you listen to the rest of the album.

In Gliding, the tempo slows a little, but the energy is there with the lead piano and the wondrous guitar play by Steve Oliver. The song really has a dramatic feel to it.

Reflection is up next. In this track, you can feel the emotions coming through the keyboard play. In addition, you can really visualize a young child looking at her reflection on the lake, as she drops a rock into that reflection to achieve that slow water ripple.

You can get a taste of Miami without even being there. This track combines a little funk and a little Latin flair to keep you warm on a cool evening. As an added bonus, Nestor Torres is on the flute to finish off the feeling.

If you need a new favorite chillout track, then you may want to check out Just Chillin. The title is right on time, as the Cool factor here is off the charts. Everything is on point, the piano, the sax, the bassline, and the drums. 

The cool continues with I Found You. Levine takes charge with the piano play, and the guitar sound goes perfectly with the piano arrangement. We would love to hear an "unplugged" version of this track.

If you will be sitting out on the front porch, or relaxing in the back yard when the weather is warm, then Summer will be a great addition to that playlist. This song encompasses the slow, relaxing feeling of sitting back with a cool beverage, as you enjoy the day.

You can take a quick trip to New Orleans with Soul Gumbo. This is the type of sound you get at the numerous live venues in the Big Easy. The uptempo, hard hitting groove will get you in the mood to PARTY!

Up next, we have a nice contemporary version of Eleanor Rigby. The piano is sounding nice, the tempo is just right, and the guitar completes the sound.

We get a vocal performance on Star Gazing. LeNard Rutledge and Wendy Pederson add their talents to the mix, and this is a good blend of Smooth Jazz and R&B, that we are sure you will enjoy.

Simple Samba is up next. Hey, we will take a simple samba any day of the week if it sounds like this! This will definitely put you in a mood...

Nice And Easy offers some old school Big Band elements. The arrangement is tight, especially with the horns. You will really get some good vibes from this track.

The set concludes with On Ramp. This is a fitting end, as the sound will give you a visual of driving off into the sunset. The piano play is superb, as you can really hear a master of his craft, doing his thing.

Just Chillin offers several good tracks. If you like piano as the lead instrument, then you will want to check out this album. Add a couple of tracks to your playlist, and you will enjoy the sounds of Mike Levine.

Check out a short medley of a couple of the songs.


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