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Ed Maina – In the Company of Brothers

May 29, 2017

Here’s an interesting collection of original tracks called In the Company of Brothers from one Ed Maina, a cool and effective saxman/flautist who dances back and forth from straight-ahead/easy listening tracks to high-steppin’ rhythmic Latin-influenced grooves to solid smooth jazz offerings, all done colorfully and tastefully.

Fitting everything jazz into this fulfilling album with something for everyone, the funk, the sophistication, the drive, and the smooth of it all is certainly not hard to find and should be lost on no one.

Maina bolts out of the gate with the rousingly funky smooth jazz lead track “This Is the Moment,” then follows that with a cool, gentle straight-ahead smoothie called “Still Here With Me,” then gets back into the smooth groove with the exotically hot and very Latin “Quelly’s Song” before sliding along to the suave and romantic “Priscilla’s Song” with its soulful and clear lead sax work from Maina, laying the groundwork for some late night rendezvous in a cozy tucked-away lair of love, followed by another Latin charmer with dancing legs and rhythm called “Mi Hermano.”

The funk gets loose on “Freed Indeed,” a hard-pounding groove with loads of attitude. That’s followed by the chill and swaying seductive charm of “Picture of Hope” and the distinct and impressive fusion of “Imela Chukwu.” The innovative and celestial presentation take on “Amazing Grace” will definitely stick with you with its penetrating piccolo and bass flute sustain. Moving indeed. You may not even fully recognize it.

Maina then ventures back to a very quick straight-ahead groove with the “Imela Chukwu Reprise” as his finale.

A very innovative and eclectic embrace of all Maina holds dear. This is one you’ll want to embrace yourself — Ronald Jackson