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Dani Mendez/B. Davis – Always With U

Jan. 29, 2015

With a cool pop/jazz bounce and strong and sweet vocals, Dani Mendez – also working keys and guitar on Dani Mendezall tracks here – offers a finely conceived 7-track project in collaboration with drummer Bernard “Pocket” Davis called Always With U. The album is not only solid but insightful and diverse. Drawing on their own talents and resources, this duo nails it in terms of providing body and substance to this feel-good endeavor.

With tracks ranging from the jazzy, sauntering title track to the kick-it-up intense and appropriately titled “Rock Me” to the saucy island rhythm of “Bahia” enhanced with a quality jazz structure and smart timing to the finger-popping jazz/R&B-tinged “Cruel Love” and beyond, Always With U possesses that something that not only captures your ear but your sense of what constitutes a solid imaginative product by musicians who truly know where they’re going with an album.

The diversity of the album is as clear as the melodies, with tunes like “Miami Chill” laying out that lazy, smoky ambience alongside the Caribbean-flavored tracks like “South of the Border” and the previously mentioned and interesting “Bahia.” Another enticing and pleasant track is the finale, one of my faves here, written by “Pocket” Davis and featuring him on vocals. The tune has sharp timing, a cool hook, and a memorable melody. Yes, these two artists certainly complement each other easily.

The album lives in several different worlds, and you are enthusiastically and creatively beckoned to each of them here.  A wonderfully intriguing effort that excites the senses.  – Ronald Jackson