Strictly for background
Pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs earned his reputation playing on and producing albums for other musicians. Norman Connors and Stanley Jordan are among his recent projects, but Gumbs first made his way as a professional musician playing with Kenny Burrell and Nat Adderley, among others.
"That Special Part of Me" finds Gumbs playing much closer to the easy-listening style of Connors than anything like jazz. The compositions are as simple as the playing, and are likely to be relegated to background music at dinner parties. There is nothing on this album to really reach out and grab your attention.
Gumbs' playing is competent, but not terribly interesting, and his sidemen are likewise low-key. Gumbs plays both electronic keyboards and acoustic piano, but seems more at home on piano tracks with him on piano, like "First Time We Met" and "The Dancer," are the relative highlights here.
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