MARQUEAL JORDAN (pronounced Mar-Kwell, by the way) is a top US smooth jazz sax man who for many years was a mainstay of the Brian Culbertson band. He’s also collaborated on dozens of other smooth jazz and soul projects – we have fond memories of his work with Frank McComb.
Right now Marqueal is focusing on his own career and has just launched his second solo album ‘Intention and Purpose’. Mr J describes the concise 11 tracker as “a musical journey through Contemporary Jazz, Soul/R&B and Hip Hop”. Indeed there are elements of all those flavours here but if you were pushed to pigeon-hole ‘Intention and Purpose’ you’d file it under “Smooth jazz”. Seven of the eleven tracks are classy smooth jazz – some like the groove heavy ‘No Pressure’ a tad more soulful than others. One of the instrumental highlights is the intricate ‘The Edge’ which features Marqueal’s old pal, Frank McComb on keys.
Like most smooth jazz albums there’s a clutch of vocal tracks too. (Indeed some of the instrumentals – like the aforementioned ‘No Pressure’ feature minimal, “chorus only” vocals). Tune getting the attention at the moment is ‘It’s All Up To You’. On this light but catchy dancer Marqueal takes to the mic himself but on the bassy album title cut the vocals is handled by someone simply called Asce. ‘Want You Around’ is a tougher, R&B inspired cut – where the vocalist is Mys Mich.
Mr Jordan describes the overall sound on the album as “Grover Washington meets Maxwell” – sees if he’s right via your own investigations… the LP’s out now.