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Kay-Ta — Arrival

July 21, 2016

One of the most sought-after musicians today, guitarist Kay-Ta, has emerged from the session shadows to explode on the scene with some great, refreshing jazz guitar work on his appropriately titled debut release Arrival. This is a recording showcasing just why the artist is so in demand as his lightning licks, smooth melodies, and a knack for incorporating such intricacies as those found in fusion, classical, blues, and rock circles shine throughout.

Bringing aboard such high-end talent as saxman Jackiem Joyner and keyboardists Nicholas Cole, Jonathan Fritzen, and Greg Manning, Kay-Ta treats each of these full-bodied tracks as though it were his only single. Each one bears its own might and appeal.

Blazing out of the starting gate with the cool and blues-tinged up-tempo lead track “Gotta Bounce!!,” Kay-Ta’s flashy guitar work and song arrangement immediately lay claim to your listening sensibilities. He has some great help from bassist Darryl Williams who just lays the bottom out there in all its glory, accentuating and complementing Kay-Ta’s every note. Absolutely hot production.

The guitarist rolls back the pace a bit as he offers the smooth, mid-tempo “Secret Crush” as track 2 but then flips the power switch again on the smokin’, dancin’ “Call It Even” featuring the classy Joyner on sax.

You’ve gotta get a taste of the slinky, finger-snappin’ and sassy “Insomnia Café,” an interesting little lazy jazzy piece that takes its time to stroll through your comfort zone and entice you with the novelty of its structure and sound. There’s a fusion feel to this one that only enhances the overall quality of the track with Kay-Ta pulling out some impressive effects and accents. That fusion touch takes a front seat with the sizzling and well-structured “Just Because.” A really biting track that can’t miss catching your attention.

A tune of special note here is actually a cover of Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” His special handling of this rock classic with a gentle jazzy hand is a remarkable statement about his innovativeness. Trumpeter Ilya Serov shares the lead with Kay-Ta here, and the result is simply masterful. Betcha Axl Rose never envisioned this rendition of that number, but I’ll also wager that he’s impressed.

Then, there’s “Karate Chopin” (what an interesting title). This is a most unique track, combining elements of classical, Latin, and jazz. Great stuff indeed.

All in all, Kay-Ta proves here that the studio shadows are not where he belongs. His place in the spotlight has been awaiting him for a while, and it’s easily going to become home to him. Two thumbs up for a most diverse and creative production. – Ronald Jackson