Brand new for the summer is the up-tempo sunshine filled “Soulmate” from sax-man Andrey Chmut. With all ten tracks written and arranged by Chmut, it builds on the impact this talented player made with his 2018 Skytown Records debut “Smoothability”which included the tune “Moving Forward” that featured the timeless Bob James on electric piano. Quickly becoming a staple on Sirius XM Watercolors it was also one of the station’s favorite songs of 2019.
The high octane “Soulmate” opens exactly in the way it means to continue with the deliciously upbeat “Night Town” that features superb interplay between Chmut on alto sax and Alex Logvinenko on keys. It establishes an intensity that permeates the entire collection and this is also apparent with ”Dance with Me” that not only finds Chmut bringing it home with his driving yet melodic playing on soprano sax but also Gennadii Bondarmaking a contribution on guitar that is reminiscent of Peter White at his best.
This high-energy tour de force continues apace with “Funky Talk” where “off the chain” keys from Riccardo Dalli Cardillocombines explosively with Chmut’s fiery work on alto.
Truth to tell, although the overriding theme of “Soulmate” is slanted toward energetic danceable grooves Andrey does, from time to time, take the opportunity to ease back on the gas. This is perfectly illustrated by the mid tempo “Blessed Day” and again with the similarly inclined “Wake Up” that enjoys a hook that might just get in your head and not go away. Chmut keeps things relaxed for the decidedly ethereal “If Only I Could Fly” while elsewhere the moody “After & After” finds Chmut laying down an urban vibe that in turn is complemented by “in your face” electric guitar from Matthew Monakov.
Think contemporary jazz meets dance and you have all you need to know about the zesty “Parodox”. With Eric Moore coming up big on drums this is one that really flies and later, evoking a late night landscape of a mythical rain swept city, the title cut shows off a more tender side of Chmut’s musical persona.
Closing out the album is “Beloved Routine” that proves to be a wonderful showcase for Chmut’s jazz sensibilities and underscores the message that the world of contemporary jazz has found itself a significant talent.