WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE! * WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE! * WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE!

Andy Snitzer – American Beauty

Oct. 13, 2015

Saxophonist Andy Snitzer has been chronicling life on the road since his 2011 release Traveler. He enjoys reveling in the past experiences, people, and places he’s encountered in American musical life just as much as he enjoys celebrating its present. That is clearly reflected in his latest release American Beauty, a sequel of sorts to Traveler. All of this was eventually brought to the surface by his early solo work as well as his time as horn section anchor with Paul Simon some 15+ years ago.

This lush project, packed heavily with rhythms, melody, soul, and presence, does not cheat the listener of his experiences or appreciation of the crisp jazz sound that incorporates a bit of that retro sound with a taste of electronica.

Tracks like the cool, sauntering lead track “September ’79,” the soulful and laid-back title track, the energetic soul/jazz “She Loves Me,” which features renowned trumpeter Rick Braun, and the driving, thick “Daddy-O” are very representative of the tenor and substance Snitzer obviously set out to create to carry this project to great places on the charts.

There are equally muscular tracks on this album with melodic body like “Montreal,” a rather bluesy track featuring the sweetness of strings and the intensity of a fireball and a sassy yesteryear R&B track featuring iconic guitarist Chuck Loeb called “Monday’s at Gert’s.” More of that flashback soul can be felt on “On and On,” as well.

There’s plenty to enjoy with this release (by the way, you absolutely must digest all of the sweetness of the sultry finale “Rain”). You should easily relate to the musical journeys taken by Snitzer as you delve into this one. Great effort. – Ronald Jackson