I’m guessing that Swedish piano man MATTIAS ROOS is a name not that familiar to many. But if you’re a fan of contemporary soul, I’m sure you will have heard him. You see Matthias is an integral part of  JD’s Time Machine and he also works extensively with soul/jazz guitar man U-Nam. If you have tunes by them, you’ll hear Mr Roos’s keyboard dexterity!

Matthias also records in his own right and he’s just released a fine 10 track LP… ‘Cali Dreaming’. Arranged, produced and for the most part written by the piano man, the album can best be described as classic smooth jazz – smooth jazz the way it used to be; smooth jazz the way it’s meant to be. That’s  to say it’s polished, groove heavy, slick and melodic with a soul undertow.

With track titles like ‘Sunny Days’, ‘Sunset Breeze’, ‘Chillin’ On The Beach’ and the LP’s title track, you  can probably guess the soundscape… bright, breezy, summery, optimistic and more!

Helping deliver this  dose of sunshine are players like sax men Jeff Ryan and Gregor Hillman, bassist Dwayne “Smitty” Smith and guitarists Paul Brown and Roos’s old pal U-Nam.

Nine of the ten tracks are Roos originals. The only cover is a bluesy rendition of Randy Crawford’s ‘You Might Need Somebody’ – sans vocal and that’s my only criticism. Across the ten cuts, one vocal could have brought a little variety – some of those tunes are crying out for a proper soul voice!

MATTIAS ROOS; ‘Cali Dreaming’ out now via Sky Town Records