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Riding the groove

True
True
By Steve Cole

Narada Jazz: 2007

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This review first appeared in Turbula in July 2007.

Saxophonist Steve Cole has settled into a leading and presumably comfortable role as a top-flight smooth jazz artist. His latest CD, "True" (out late last year), should please his existing fan base and bring in even more. Full of hook-laden instrumental R&B and easy listening with a hint of a Latin beat, the nine songs here are all in the patented Cole style. Thick arrangements with a funky backbeat provide a velvety foundation atop which Cole blows his tenor and soprano saxes with more heat than most smooth jazz players.

He's joined on this album by fellow smooth jazz luminaries Jeff Golub (guitar) and Lenny Castro (percussion). They add some nice polish to the proceedings, but this is Cole's show all the way. He wrote all the songs and produced the album; it's a lively, never stale set of uptempo instrumentals.