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Max V – Next to You

May 20, 2017

With that suave, cool, rich hollow-body Ibanez sound, guitarist Max V explodes on the contemporary jazz scene again with his sophomore release in this genre entitled Next to You. Offering seductive voicings, solid compositions, and an embracing aura of smooth, the guitarist should easily further grow and solidify his fan base with these tracks.

Obviously favoring that distinct Ibanez hollow body sound often associated with the likes of George Benson and Norman Brown, Max V is on his way to placing his own signature on the style that has wooed so many over the years.

Max brings some great contributors along for this ride: (saxman/vocalist Marqueal Jordan, trumpeter Lin Rountree, and keyboardists Gail Jhonson and Ronnie Foster), and they certainly help the guitarist bring the silky texture of this album to life.

You will undoubtedly enjoy the sway and swagger of tracks like the up-tempo lead track “Check It Out,” the laid-back “Bright” featuring Rountree, the finger-poppin’ cool stroller “Room 8,” the soulful and romantic “I’ll Be Here For You” featuring Jordan on vocals, the charged “Superfunk” (check out Max’s electric “moment” as he opens up on a “special” lead riff here), the lively Latin treat “Salvador” featuring Foster on keys, and the super-cool & tasteful “Dulce” featuring Jhonson on keys, among others. Quality all around.

So many indie artists have emerged from the shadows and established themselves as strong performers while others have yet to do so. I look for Max V to be a satisfying presence here for quite some time. – Ronald Jackson