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Andre Cavor – Road Trip

May 29, 2017

While I wouldn’t go far as to say that saxman Andre Cavor is the first to combine his love for both smooth jazz and gospel as Ben Tankard, Jonathan Butler, and Kirk Whalum come to mind (the latter two may not wish to think of some of their efforts as combining the two, but the spirit of what they do supports this and is oh-so-evident), let me be the first to acknowledge that this saxman who has released his debut effort Road Trip proves to be no bottom-shelf slouch in this area of jazz/gospel. His emotional power, his drive, and the substance of his strong material is not only satisfying to the ear but most inspirational. Few express their passion via their instrument better than he does.

The album, a very melodic gem, does a wonderful job of bringing the two genres together with love and insight. There are grooves meant to move the feet and head and there are tracks to move the spirit…and there are tracks that do both simultaneously. I am sure that God is not frowning on the merger. I don’t believe He ever has.

Getting into the album, tracks that simply must be heard include the lead and title track, the sedate and dreamy track “Ready or Not,” the beautiful “Hello” (one of my faves), the head-boppin’ “Say Somethin;,” the uplifting “Heaven,” the groove-ridden “Without A Doubt,” and more.

The popular and personable saxman/multi-instrumentalist Darren Rahn, who also serves as producer of this project, appears quite a bit here, polishing up this baby even more with his imaginative contributions (listen to the rousing “You Brought the Sunshine” for a good example).

In a word, this is quality work. Strong, substantive, and certainly not of the cookie cutter variety. Looking for inspired music that inspires you? You’ll find it right here. Two thumbs up! – Ronald Jackson