David Sanborn - "Inside"

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Sanborn is an eloquent passionate sax player who serves smooth, funky R&B jazz. Marcus Miller produced, wrote five songs and plays various instruments on this CD. "Brother Ray" showcases Sanborn's impeccable phrasing, changing lines with Ricky Peterson on Hammond B-3 organ and Michael Brecker on tenor sax. "Ain't No Sunshine" with guest vocals by Sting, "Daydreaming" vocals by Cassandra Wilson and Eric Benet plus "When I'm with You" with vocals by Lelah Hathaway, Eric Benet and Marcus Miller. All three vocal tunes show a different side to the depth of a Sanborn project. Cellist Hank Roberts is outstanding on "Ain't No Sunshine". Highly recommended. (D.W.)

Elektra CD 62346 to order

Boney James - "Body Language"

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Boney James plays alto, tenor and soprano sax as well as keyboards on a sensuous latin, R&B, fusion and jazz session. Non stop romance on "Are You Ready?", "I'll Always Love You", and vocalist Shai on "Lovefest" and "All Night Long" the latter features lush string arrangements. Overall the sound is superb. Recommended. (D.W.)

Warner Brothers 9 47283-2 to order

Chris Murphy - "Blowin' the Horn"

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Chris Murphy started playing sax in 1971 at the age of 17 and has led two bands from his London, Ontario home base 'Uptown Blooze' (1986-1992) and 'Old Chicago Blues Band' (1992-1998). "Blowin' the Horn" is Chris' first solo project, featuring his father Phil playing alto sax on the title track. Two Downchild members who also play on the recording - Michael Fonfara on keyboards and Gary Kendall on bass produced this CD. Other featured Downchild members include Jimmy Casson - drums and Chuck Jackson - backing vocals. Chris Murphy is mainly known on the juke joint bar blues scene offering uptempo party blues. "Juice for Junior" written for Jr. Walker has a gritty funky feel. "Low Rider" (Eric Burdon & War) is also very funky and features Geoff Dahl on bass and vocals. "Let's Straighten it Out" features a great soul vocalist in Richard Knight. (D.W.)

Speakeasy 3006 to order

Christian Jacob Trio - "Time Lines"

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On this second release for the Concord label, with bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Adam Nussbaum (1998), pianist Jacob, ex-alumnus of the Maynard Ferguson band (this recording produced by Ferguson), puts together an intriguing programme of five originals and five standards, two of the latter from the Ellington songbook. He does, indeed, give "new life to old standards" (liner), injecting playful rhythms and harmonies into "I'm Old Fashioned", "There is No Greater Love", or "In a Mellow Tone". The trio operates as a single "voice, an orchestra of three", markedly on original compositions, with the independence of the players contributing to the energy and segmented melodic core (stated in the bridge) of "Guess Again", pursuing the shifting Latin lines of "Cumulonimbus", or tastefully stating the thematic simplicity of "Days of Yore" with gentle improvisational touches. Their sensitive rendering of "America The Beautiful", an unusual choice, is noteworthy. (J.S.)

Concord CCD-4801-2 to order

John Stetch - "Green Grove"

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John Stetch is a musician's musician. He is a technically competent pianist who is creative, adventurous, humerous and sensitive and shows a great sense of maturity. Green Grove is his 5th release followed by two Juno nominees 'Rectangle Man' and 'Carpathian Blues'. This trio features Kieran Overs - bass and Ted Warren - drums playing three Stetch originals "Green Grove", "Chips for Crunch" and "Zabava" plus a Tony Williams composition "Sister Cheryl" and two standards "What is this Thing called Love?" and "Body and Soul" all treated to updated creative arrangements. Although Stetch is an original I did hear a hint of Bill Evans influence on the title track. The sound quality of the Steinway comes across as excellent; this is a highly recommended recording. (D.W.)

Justin Time JTR 8473-2 to order

Cephas & Wiggins - "Homemade"

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Cephas & Wiggins are the Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee of the 90's. Picture yourself sitting on a porch on a sunny day in Alabama or Mississippi. Cephas & Wiggins are playing southern blues on acoustic guitar and harmonica backed by vocals and beautiful vocal harmonies. Train like harmonica belts out "Meeting the Mule" and "Illinois Blues". "Walking Mama" one of seven original songs in this fifteen song set featuring outstanding vocals follows this. Bluesmen true to their roots include "Trouble in Mind", "Worried Life Blues" and "Pigmeat", all first rate standards. Daryl Davis plays piano on a few tracks. Easy, relaxed down home blues performed by masters. Highly recommended. (D.W.)

Alligator ALCD 4863 to order

Highly recommended CD's without reviews, star rated as follows:

***** Excellent
**** Good

Rating Artist Title Label & Cat. No.

*****Stefon HarrisA Cloud of Red DustBlue Note 7243 8 23487 2 6
*****Kyle EastwoodFrom Here to ThereColumbia CK 68013
*****Charlie ByrdMy Inspiration - Music of BrazilConcord Picante CCD-4850-2
*****Don SebeskyI Remember Bill - tribute to Bill EvansBMG 09026 68929-2
*****Tony BennettThe Essential Tony Bennett (A Retrospective)Columbia CK 91207
*****Various - Big BandsSwingin' at CapitolCapitol Jazz 7243 4 98294 2 8


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