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Phillip “Doc” Martin – Pocket Love

Feb. 7, 2018

Since we have begun to accept for review recordings done more than a year ago, if the quality and attractiveness are there, and if we feel our audience would “miss out” if we didn’t share the material, I’m more than happy to offer my take on saxman Phillip “Doc” Martin’s 2016 release Pocket Love – an album with much more than a touch of richness.

A solid saxman born in Indiana and now residing in the Washington, DC, area and a most personable individual, Martin knows his way around a sax and a good melody. With a stirring presence in each tune, he proceeds to offer the kind of classy smooth jazz that we aficionados of the genre respect and love. This is take-notice material from the first note.

On this well-produced release, Martin presents infectious alto sax numbers like the lead track “Club Life,” as well as the slick title track that offers a wicked “wink” of the eye at you as he saunters through it, a quality interpretation of the Grover Washington Jr./Bill Withers classic “Just the Two of Us” featuring veteran guitar wiz Paul Brown, the snappy “Hip Today,” a pair of sexy, come-hither tunes — “Groove Love” and “LA Nights” (both earn a spot high on my faves list), and others that let you know this cat and his music are of the stock that keeps this genre alive and kickin’ including another top-tier cover, this time of John Legend’s “All of Me.” Very seductive and telling.

Pocket Love is a delightful album embodying all the magic and character you seek in a genuine C-jazz project that also massages the fabric of R&B and incorporates it nicely with a feathery touch. Two thumbs up to the “doc” who can certainly heal what ails you musically. – Ronald Jackson