Feb. 8, 2017
Keyboardist/composer/producer John ThaSaint, while admittedly new to me, is certainly no stranger to the world of smooth jazz & R&B, having released 8 albums, including this latest Touch release, and having spent a quarter century performing, recording, and honing his skills as a competent contributor to this colorful and melodic side of life.
Touch is an encompassing album of funky up-tempo grooves, soft and soulful caresses, and reflective, unspoken messages — all but one solely performed, recorded, and produced by the keyboardist. It’s a project inspired by the loss of personal and public influences, and it does often have that respectful and deep feel.
Tracks like the up-tempo “Play a Song,” (which takes on an Earth, Wind & Fire “Sing a Song” vibe), the poppin’, coolly funky “Don’t Stop” and “Glow,” the sweet yet suggestively melancholy aura of “Can’t See Love,” and the soft glow of the melody-rich “Serenity” all solidly represent the wonderfully diverse mood of this well-produced album.
The track “Feel Me” brings back the romantic and rich brilliance of the late maestro of love, Barry White, as ThaSaint offers the trademark White spoken intro in his artful blend of charming music and seductive murmurings (a cautionary note on Amazon flags this track as “explicit.” While there’s a lot of hot and suggestive sizzle in his words, I couldn’t make out anything abusive or offensive at all — of course, you’ll have to be the judge there).
Another track of note is “Just One Night” is a romanticist’s dream. The scene is set here and only needs that loving couple to express how right the moment is.
A truly satisfying journey into the heart and soul of an artist who really cares how he comes across and who he moves. ThaSaint has that formula down to a fine science. Listen, and fall in love again with magic of good music. — Ronald Jackson