Music Reviews

Review – ‘Momentum’ by Gary Honor

 September 28, 2021

By  ExoticDJ

Gary Honor is a Sydney and Melbourne based Saxophonist. In addition to the sax, he also plays the flute, wind-synth and percussion, and he has played with many of the well known smooth jazz artists that are currently on the scene, including Chuck Loeb, Paul Brown, Brian Simpson, Darren Rahn, Jackiem Joyner, and Peter White.

Momentum is his first full length album, and he brought along some friends to contribute. Skinny Hightower, Steve Oliver, Lin Rountree, and Chieli Minucci all appear, and the 13 track effort is quite fun.

Let's take a listen!

Review - 'Momentum' by Gary Honor

The set kicks off with the title track, Momentum. If Honor was looking to gain some momentum to take the listener through the album, we believe he succeeded. All of the musicians are doing some work, starting with the bass, the nasty guitar licks, the keys, and of course, Honor's sax play. We especially like the layering of the sax in certain parts.

Traction has a mid-tempo groove, Listen closely and you will hear several small instrumental parts that is pleasing to the ear, and all of those parts fit great together. This is one of the tightest tracks on the album.

In Red Hot, you get a really funky groove, the type that will remind you of an old school George Duke song. This is all about the jam, and we had NO IDEA that the Australians were jamming like that!

Summer Cool was one of the tracks that was released ahead of the album. This is a song that deserves that title, because if you decide to choose this as your background music as you walk down the street, then we are not mad at that. Honor really shows of his skills, especially toward the end of the song.

Road To Ubeda is next. From the start, it feels like there's a story behind the music. The verse is smoothed out, then the energy picks up through the hook, and then back again. The change in tempo really works in this track. The guitar ties it all together.

Lin Rountree is featured in Meet Me In Manhattan. His signature horn is evident from the beginning, and the parts where he and Honor play together are pure bliss. We also love the sound of the drums that is used here.

Deep Blue is an uptempo track that has an EDM feel, but with a decidedly smooth jazz base. The horns have a lot of energy, especially halfway through, where Honor really shows off his skills. Be sure to pay attention to each and every horn part in the track.

Chieli Minucci is featured in The Pulse. The Mediterranean feel is evident, and Minucci's guitar is on point. Honor holds his own, and the two seem to enjoy playing off of each other.

In Moonstreams, Steve Oliver makes an appearance with his signature guitar sound. Honor really shines here, and he is working that horn. You can feel the emotion flowing through the speakers.

Smooth Detour is next, and Skinny Hightower is pounding them keys quite nicely. Based on the sound of the track, we are not sure we even need a detour. Let's just stay in this lane and enjoy the music.

Bang Bang Bang will get you up and moving. Honor is offering up several horn parts, and the keys have a funky vibe. If you listen closely, you will notice some organ play, which completes the song.

Honor breaks it all the way down with Sunset Lights. There's no describing this track, as everything about it is next level. 

Always is a track where Honor brings it home, literally. This is the perfect "last track" for an album, as you will feel the finality as you listen to the song. It puts an ending, or shall we say, an exclamation point on the album. The horn play is stellar, and we definitely need an encore after enjoying this track.

Australia has some funky musicians, if Gary Honor is any indication. He puts it down on every track, and you will want to take some time and check out the entire album. You can stream all tracks right now.

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