We have been digging Tim Bowman for quite a while. It goes without saying that if you are featured in the Smooth Jazz Mix Series, then you are definitely a favorite.
Although his main style is jazz, you hear several different elements in the music. Did you know he played with The Winans’ band, and that he eventually became their musical director?
If you are involved in any capacity with The Winans, then you have instant credibility.
Into The Blue is Bowman’s seventh studio album, and if you listen to the music, it is obvious that he is still evolving as an artist.
Review – Tim Bowman Into the Blue
Clocking in at 56 minutes, Into The Blue has a whooping 15 tracks. Well, ok, three are interludes, but who’s counting. Overall, you will get an album with some variety, and that is what I look for in new music.
Can you keep me entertained for an hour?
The album kicks off with City Lights. This single was released a couple of months ago, and it is an uptempo song that showcases Bowman’s guitar style. It also sets the stage of some of the good music that we will experience on the album. I always say that the track order is important. You need to have a strong track to lead off the album. By the way, I love the keyboard sounds on this track.
I need to set a new rule as of right now. All new Smooth Jazz/Nu Jazz albums need to have Stokley Williams as a guest vocalist. It just so happens that Stokley provides lead vocals on the next track, All I Need Is Love. Is there a better male vocalist out there right now? Bowman’s effortless guitar work compliments the lead vocal. This is how a groovy slow jam should sound.
The title track, Into The Blue is up next. This is an uptempo song that seems to stimulate all of the senses. Obviously you hear the track. I personally visualize sitting on a sandy beach somewhere, as I smell that nice ocean air, and feel that cool breeze. Oh….I also have some sort of tropical drink to taste.
What are you visualizing as you listen to the track?
The interlude, Hello, transitions into Tan Hermosa (So Beautiful). Tan Hermosa is a showcase track, where Bowman’s guitar is out front and center, over an infectious groove. This may be my favorite track on the album.
Amazing Grace Party is up next, and I am sure you are familiar with the classic, as Bowman interprets it his way. We can surely call this a joyful noise. I am confident you will be singing along as the famous “Wade in the Water” arrangement comes flowing through the speakers.
What is an album without a funk inspired tune? Well, Detroit Funk is that jam. It features TMC, which consists of Bowman, former Pleasure guitarist Marlon McClain, and Cordell Walton, musical director for Charlie Wilson. All of the elements are there; a funky bassline, great rhythm guitar licks, and……horns. My only problem with the track is that it is only four-and-a-half unites long. I could use another three minutes!
Vocalist Angela Johnson joins Bowman on My Heart To You. This may go down as one of the best “unplugged” songs of 2017. There is something to be said about a simple song with stellar guitar play and a professional vocalist. They just show how it should be done.
We pick up the pace a little with Boss. Don’t laugh, but this track could actually be the theme music for a boss as they walk the halls of the building. I’ll wait as you visualize that.
You know I am right.
Bowman breaks it all the way down with Love Forever More. I love the acoustic guitar here, and I am sensing a little latin flair. This is truly a song for the lovers.
After the Madrid interlude, Travelin’ Road is up next. This is what you get when blues meets funk. For me, it is one of the top tracks on the album.
You Are is an R&B flavored song. If the track seems familiar to you, it is a remake of the Charlie Wilson song. This time the guitar and the sax take turns with the lead. A great slow jam all the way around.
Bowman reprises Seaside Drive, which was originally released in 2013. I liked the song then, and I like it now, as the sound is more robust on this version. This is just a great uptempo jam.
Bowman then closes the set with Good Bye. Nothing major here, he is just strumming that guitar for you one last time.
If you like great guitar work, do not sleep on Tim Bowman. He is a professional guitar player, and he shows his range on this latest release.