Smooth jazz seems to have lost a little of its shine in the last several years… and it’s hard to say why; but if you’re hankering for some proper old school smooth jazz as it used to be you could do worse than check out the new album from veteran outfit PIECES OF A DREAM.
Essentially a duo – childhood friends, pianist James Lloyd and drummer Curtis Harman – the Philly band have delivered consistently since its inception back in 1976 and their new 10 tracker, ‘On Another Note’ maintains their quality output.
The music on ‘On Another Note’ ticks all the required smooth jazz boxes. There are plenty of big, soul-based grooves like the title track and ‘Kicking And Screaming’ which has a vintage Tower of Power feel. Then there’s the obligatory Latin moments – the wild and racy ‘A Pieces Fiesta’ and the more gentle ‘Images Of Piece’. All great smooth jazz sets need their quiet storm moments too and there are two here – ‘Smooth Dreams’ and ‘Take Me There’. Soul buffs often scan albums like this for a vocal and here they’ll be sort of disappointed. There is one vocal – the soulful groove that is ‘Real To Me’ but the vocal input is minimal – just the chorus shout out. Still, as we’ve opined … like everything here – a classic smooth jazz sound.
PIECES OF A DREAM; ‘On Another Note’ released on Shanachie on May 24th.