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Blake Aaron – Soul Stories

Apr. 11, 2015

Guitarist Blake Aaron, definitely no stranger to the smooth jazz groove and how to manipulate it proficiently, is at it again with his latest release Soul Stories.

Offering yet another of his stellar performances on guitar, he’s joined here by the likes of saxman/flutist Najee, guitarist Craig Sharmat, vocalist Spencer Day, and pianist/keyboardist Rob Mullins. Here also is the inclusion of one he calls his brother, the late great drummer Ricky Lawson whose work will never be forgotten by anyone who ever knew, heard, or met him.

Included here is just a beautiful potpourri of goodies, both stompin’ up-tempo and sweet, subtle and exotic.

Speaking of exotic, two tracks that immediately captured me were two Latin-laced gems — “Sol Amor” and the more serene 7-minute cover of Carlos Santana’s “Europa” (whose heart hasn’t warmed to the sound of the latter at some point in life??). Both delivered with the meticulous caress of one who knows how to stroke the soul, these two will not be forgotten…and we’re not even well into the rest of the album yet.

Spencer Day’s vocals serve the upbeat jazzy/bluesy “You’re the One For Me” just right while “The Story of the Blues” has its own tale to tell. In fact, as you’ll discover if you pick this up and check out the inside cover, each song has an interesting story.

Then there’s the thorough cover of the Hall & Oates classic “Sara Smile,” done with just enough bluesiness to put you in that special place within yourself. We’ve have all had a Sara, and Aaron’s guitar reminds you of that.

Soul Stories talks a lot, reveals a lot. You just need to listen with your own soul. Great effort! – Ronald Jackson