Doug Jones — Secrets

July 23, 2016

Saxman Doug Jones has again come along with yet another hot & saucy project that keeps the fires of groove jazz ablaze. This one, Secrets, again has something for everyone. There’s the sweet and cool sway of smooth jazz sax serenades, there’s a healthy dose of funk, a touch of island bliss, and an all-around good vibe throughout.

This party gets started with a bright mid-tempo swaying track appropriately titled “Sunshine.” It does well as the mood-setter for this album. Jones then kicks it into the funk gear with the next track “Forgiveness,” a sassy number that lets you know this is gonna be a worthwhile journey into Jones’ vivid world of crisp, well-nurtured sound.

A handsome touch of steel pans in the opening notes of “Beautiful Dream” brings on that eclectic feel pretty quickly before we’re escorted to a funky place that’s painted with class and solid instruments (including some pretty demanding drums) on the title track. Cool and hot at the same time.

Speaking of cool and hot, the album’s cover depicts a young beauty apparently whispering some possibly hot and steamy little secrets to Jones. The beauty, Aminta Iriarte, is a discussion for another day, trust me. Anyway, suffice it to say that it’s nice album cover work.

More dirty funk follows on “Dinner Rush,” a track surely to bring on your own energy. A big “wow” goes out for this one. Still, wait. There’s more as Jones turns his sax into a pied piper for late night lovers and sizzlin’ romance with “One More Time,” a very melodic and beckoning piece of work that showcases Jones’ intensity and skill in getting his point across via his horn. Does he ever! This is definitely one of my favs along with the previously mention “Dinner Rush.” A must-hear.

Add to that funk mix the hot & ripe “Morning Traffic.” If you’re sitting in such traffic, this track will get you through it, although other drivers may be wondering what you’re listening to when they witness your in-car dancing skills. Love this track! Another in my fav column. I have to stop here to mention that you must take note of the register to where Jones takes his sax when the intensity gets to be too much. True artists can make you feel what they feel almost effortlessly. Jones is such an artist. He’s a house on fire, I’m here to tell ya.

Other monster jams and sweet delicacies follow (“October Sky,” “With Every Breath,” and the finale “Back On Redwood”). You need and will want to take the time to absorb all of this one.

Jones has outdone himself, in my opinion, with Secrets. Take a listen. Between you and others hearing this groove and spreading the word, the album’s title may no longer work as I predict this thing will go viral. A++ effort! – Ronald Jackson