There are a couple of reasons I like EP’s. First off, it is a shorter listen…for those of us who still like to listen to albums from start to finish. Second, since EP’s have fewer songs, there are no filler tracks.
Needless to say, I was very interested in the new EP from Player A. They are a band of studio musicians that have played with a who’s who in Pop, Soul and Jazz music. I mean, I am sure you have heard of Take 6, Bob James, Peter Cetera and Michael McDonald, right?
Their latest six-track EP was just released. It is called Devices Techniques & Mechanisms, and they will take you on a trip through a few different styles of music. As you listen to these tracks, you will appreciate just how good these musicians actually are. They are based in Nashville, so you know they can play everything.
One thing that really stands out is the recording quality. Not all music recordings are created equal. I have said on numerous occasions that Euge Groove has the best sounding recordings in the Smooth Jazz Genre. I will have to say that Devices Techniques & Mechanisms is right up there in sound quality.
Let’s go through each of these tracks, and you will be able to listen to a couple of the songs on this post.
Review – Player A “Devices Techniques & Mechanisms”
The set leads off with Told You So! It is really like a jam session with its New Jack Swing beat. Jeff Kashiwa is featured here, and you can almost call it a duet between Kashiwa’s sax and Mark Baldwin‘s guitars. They absolutely slay those verses with the guitar coming in first, then the sax. In a nice touch, there are some background vocals that come in after the breakdown. It will make you sing along as the song comes to its conclusion.
If you are ready for some Bluesy Funk, then Deep Pockets will satisfy that itch. Eric Copeland hits you hard with those keyboard parts. The guitar once again takes the lead. It has a Blues flavor with a little bit of a Rock bottom. I totally see myself walking by a club on Bourbon St. in New Orleans, when I hear this song. Trust me, you would head into that club to see what was going on. I like the DJ scratching that leads into the first hook.
You will love this next track. Yin & Yang is a mid-tempo track that has some Eastern influences. There are some smooth skat vocals over the verses. I love that because you can immediately start singing along as you become a part of the song. My only problem is that it is only 3:05. DJ’s can easily play this in a lounge as it will mix with Jazz, Soul, and downbeat house.
Speaking of House Music, Chillest is up next. This is a remix of a track called Chill on a 1999 album from Copeland named Cooler. This is a club track that you can listen to while enjoying that glass of cognac.
The band brings it back to Contemporary Smooth Jazz with Coming Back On. There is some serious sax being played here, and if you listen closely, you will hear how they layer the sax parts to get that great sound. The bassline also takes me back to a mid-tempo Shalamar tune. I am definitely not mad at that! If it were me, I would put this one out as the first single.
The EP concludes with Sleekness Revisited. The track features Marcus Anderson on sax, and this is an all out JAM! Everything is on point here. Even though the sax is front and center, you can feel those drums right out of the gate. You also have the keys and the guitars completing that big sound. If you are not bobbing your head to this, you probably do not have a pulse.
I am positive you will enjoy this EP. Be sure to listen to the tracks in order, as it flows nicely from one track to the next. You will truly enjoy the various styles, from Smooth Jazz to Blues to mellow House music.