The Jazz Project

Music to Celebrate Life

84

Out of the Shadows & Into The Spotlight •••

Tim Gordon, saxophone;
David Shoff, keyboards

Lovers of contemporary smooth jazz will enjoy these new performances from two acclaimed musicians, most notable on “Short Life,” and “Do You Want Me” that bristle with robust melody as well as delicate scoring. This is clearly a highly charged occasion that gives the set its durability and its hold on one’s affections. The immediacy and clarity of sound, plus the saxophone’s rhythmic grasp, ensures that the effect of the music is still as smooth a jazz as you are likely to hear. Also appearing on this album are Chris Allen (drums), and Brad Wilcox (flugelhorn).

Lush Life •••

Heather Ferguson, vocals

On her new album, Canadian-based Heather Ferguson is heard here in peak form awash in the elegant and mesmerizing sounds of saxophonist Barrie Sorensen and trumpeter Miquelito Valdes. Ms. Ferguson is a forceful vocalist, perfectly lovely in the middle register of her voice, invariably poised on a variety of repertoire. Songs like “Body & Soul” and “At Last” are delivered beautifully with purity and intonation. It could not be more welcome when a recording transforms such popular songs, as this one does, setting it on a new plane. And as added bonus there is Barrie Sorensen (sax) and Miguelito Valdes (trumpet, flugelhorn) playing with subtle tonal shading that heightens the atmospheric evocation in the most engaging mix of exuberance and gravitas. Every change in mood of Ms. Ferguson’s voice is superbly crafted and judged by these musicians. The result is that the performance throughout the album is marvelously clean and the music itself can only be called luminous. Other standouts include the warm and tenderly moving “Stardust,” and “The Look of Love.” 

Performers on Lush Life include Miguelito Valdes (trumpet, flugelhorn, congas), Barrie Sorensen (saxophone), Dr. Tony Genge (organ, piano), Jan Stirling (piano), Joey Smith (guitar, bass), Damian Graham (drums), and Kelby MacNayr (drums). Lush Life will be released worldwide on November 18th. The release will be celebrated with a performance at Hermann’s Jazz Club in Victoria, British Columbia, on the evening of November 18th.  

We Never Stop •••

Candy Dulfer

After three decades of collaborations and world tours, plus chart-topping and high-selling solo career releases, Candy Dulfer is living proof of the title of her latest album, We Never Stop. The track “Convergency,” featuring three-time Grammy Award-winner Nile Rodgers (guitar), is richly imaginative and a truly heartfelt joy to listen to dance your summer away. This is smooth jazz with the music that is wonderfully ethereal with great verve and panache. Others can simply accept this performance as a thoroughly enjoyable romp. Also heard here on the album is Erich Cawalla (vocals and saxophone).