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

Ed Stone – King of Hearts

Jan. 7, 2013

Poppin’, snazzy, full of cool vibes, colorful tone, and class. That’s my in-a-nutshell take on King of Hearts, the new release from guitarist/vocalist/doctor (that would be M.D., by the way) Ed Stone.
 
This is the third release from Dr. Stone built my first introduction to him. My initial reaction to listening to him was: How did I miss this guy’s previous work??

He not only brings bassist Al Turner, drummer Ron Otis, keyboardist Mark McGruder, and background vocalist Penny Wells along on this high-steppin’ ride of style but makes it very clear that he knows the location of the pulse of really suave, groove-laden jazz.

Cutting loose on danceable grooves from the beginning with “Automatic;” his vibin’ cover of The Temptations’ “Treat Her Like a Lady;” the finger-poppin’ vocals-rich “The Way She Moves;” and the title track, you can quickly and easily settle into a comfort zone with Stone. His tight chords, runs, and vocals exude confidence and skill. Throughout the album, this level of solid goodness never seems to let up. There is a silky ease in his style that is simply difficult not to like.

Other tunes of note would certainly have to include the infectious, driving Gloria Estefan classic “The Rhythm Is Gonna Get You,”  the caressingly mellow and easy “A Distant Smile,” the rhythmic “Mystic Moments” with its touch of Latin flavor, the pop/R&B-tinged “Moving On” (nice vocals also adorn this one), the snappy “Satin Lover,” and the equally moving “No Limit,” which closes out the album.

Simply put, this is a smooth, breezy, feel-good album of what feel-good jazz should be about: Great vibes and just-right rhythms. This doctor’s Rx should certainly cure what ails you. – Ronald Jackson