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

Mekiel Reuben – If You Were Here Tonight

Mar. 26, 2013

Here’s an album that is surely to get you smooth jazzers buzzin’ for awhile. It’s saxman Mekiel Reuben’s latest offering, If You Were Here Tonight. Not exactly brand spankin’ new (released late last year) but full of fresh originals with a light sprinkling of great interpretations of some well-chosen covers.

Opening with a silky mid-tempo charmer called “Another Sunday,” it’s a bouncy, sunny way to start off this collection of aural goodies. On the heels of this track (which, by the way, has a great crescendo, as well) is a wonderful cover of singer/songwriter Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen.” Reuben adds such a load of improvisation and originality to this Brazilian-flavored tune.

Among my faves would be the bright, swaying “I Just Wanna Be With You,” a track that bears a really sweet melody, a melody that could easily convince the object of one’s affection to believe the song title was specifically directed at her or him.

The seductive handling of the title track carries as much effectiveness as it too has an irresistible melody. The swagger and bounce found in the cover of Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day,” the slinky, provocative take on Van Morrison’s “Moondance” (with a little emphasis on some reggae influence and the sexy vocals provided by the “Nigerian Song Bird” Mary Akpa),” and the tight and snappy “Stop Stalling” are solidly convincing. There’s also the tender “Summer Breezin’,” one of those tunes capable of placing you in that state of mind where what you hear is all you hear and feel. Truly lovely.

Reuben shifts moods along with saxes (playing soprano, alto, and tenor saxes) throughout this project and flaunts his skills with confidence and apparent ease. Tasteful, solid, sweet vibin’ smooth grooves are what you get with this project. For sure, an embraceable piece of work. – Ronald Jackson

Share in top social networks!