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

RK Dawkins — Journey

Aug. 18, 2017

As one who is rather old school in this way, I don’t usually favor one-man bands using the electronic magic of the keyboard/synth to create the effect of a full band (with the exception of Paul Hardcastle and Rick Kelly (aka Soul Ballet), both of whom have worn that signature technique and sound well for a very long time), but this debut solo project from RK Dawkins entitled Journey brings some very appealing supple sounds from his sampling library via his keyboard to your ears. There is a lot going on here to enhance your listening experience and stroke your sense of melody.

More than just background music as you go about your Saturday chores and errands, and even more than just a coastal riding companion, there is something here on which to grab hold and really listen. The colors are vibrant, the mood sliding from seductive and charming to funky, and there’s a certain ambience that dances inside your head as you absorb all of this.

There are no vocals or fiery riffs, but there are a few tracks where a heavy bass line and some serious funk vibes take the day (such is the case with “The Jungle (Box of Tricks), “Cruise,” “The Search,” and, probably my fave, “Smokin’” (the latter beginning deceptively as a laid-back track before exploding into a funk kaleidoscope).

An unassuming yet good quality CD with which you can become comfortable and take the edge off one of those uncomfortable days we occasionally get (some more than others). Relax and enjoy this walk. –- Ronald Jackson