Chicago-born tenor saxophonist Steve Cole has demonstrated time and time again throughout his career that he has an inherent connection with the music he produces. Jazz can be a mixed bag, with different artists exploring various sub-genres and experimenting with rhythms and production techniques to try and create something original. More often than not I find the results to be a cacophony of sounds. Cole keeps things simple yet engaging, not harking back to the styles of the legends and creating arrangements that belong in the modern world.
His saxophone is the vocalist; able to convey emotions just as well as a great lyricist. Most of what you get with Steve Cole is a soulful groove and upbeat contemporary jazz that doesn’t waver. ‘Turn It Up’ reaches into your musical psyche and instantly plants its rhythm in a way that can’t stop you clapping along to the snare as the saxophone cheers with jubilation. Elsewhere a funk vibe is injected that compliments the soulful tones nicely. ‘Woman’s Gotta Have It’ and ‘Life Is A Groove’ are two fine examples of this, the latter of which is a rare moment on this album when a song could suit an evening dinner setting.
There’s something for the contemporary jazz fan of old and new here. The overall positive sound ventures down different avenues.
There’s good variation in the other instrumentation to keep the experience enchanting, as is their role. While Cole’s playing style, as it has done on all of his albums, stays relatively consistent, his backing musicians drive the album at different tempos and rhythms.
There’s something for the contemporary jazz fan of old and new here. The overall positive sound ventures down different avenues. ‘Bright Side’ provides a more slow and intimate moment of joy, particularly with the piano accompaniment, while ‘Mirage’ embraces the modern trend of electronic elements becoming a universal feature of songwriting.
Cole has delivered yet another captivating album.
By Will Hunt
To find out more about the talented personnel involved in making this album, visit: http://artistecard.com/stevecole#!/bio
Great ensemble achievement
A jazz heart with funk and electronic tinges
Jubilant and soul-nourishing
Listen to ‘Mirage’ by Steve Cole below:
|2. Turn It Up!|
|4. She’s the One|
|5. Bright Side|
|6. Woman’s Gotta Have It|
|7. Laws of Attraction|
|8. Life Is a Groove|