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

Brian Simpson – Out of a Dream

Feb. 26, 2015

Well, you know what they say: You can’t keep a good man down. Whoever first uttered that phrase may not have known that his words would eventually hit home when describing keyboardist/producer/composer Brian Simpson who, with his latest release Out of a Dream nails that C-jazz persona once again. Let’s fBrian Simpson CDace it: This guy doesn’t miss. If anyone has that smooth jazz DNA, he’s definitely one of them, hands down.

Here with high-steppin’ fervor on tracks like the lead track “One of a Kind” featuring the wonderful saxtress Grace Kelly, that in-the-pocket head-boppin’ groove found on the title track featuring the renowned Najee on flute, and the sweet, buttery catchiness of the melodic and hook-rich “When I Say Your Name” featuring iconic saxman Dave Koz, Simpson approaches this album in a no-holds-barred frame of mind. In fact, these tracks are all of equally magical appeal; the melodies being solid gold, the captivating hooks never letting you go, and each one with a character all its own. There’s no picking one fave, at least not for me. As soon as I would say “Yeah, that’s got to be the high point,” another track would follow and move into that space.

Along with those already mentioned, the keys giant is also joined by a host of guitarists extraordinaire, including Nils – who is also one of the many co-producers of this project – Marc Antoine, and Norman Brown, star vocalist Maysa, bassist Alex Al, guitarist Darrell Crooks, drummer Jay Williams, rising star keyboardist Jonathan Fritzen, and others. On the lead track, the late great drummer Ricky Lawson is also featured. Quite the formula for success, wouldn’t you agree?

All in all, one quality CD from start to finish with Simpson showing once again his prowess in the land of C-jazz. – Ronald Jackson