Music Review

Book Reviews and Reading Diary
CD Buying Guide and Music Links
Best-of lists
CD Reviews
CDs, sorted by Style
CDs, sorted by year issued
CDs, sorted by publication review ran in
CDs by San Diego bands
All CDs, sorted by band name
All CDs, sorted by album title
Favorite quotations
Contact Me

Riding the groove

By Steve Cole

Narada Jazz: 2007

Buy it on CD now from
Buy it now

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.