Back in 2014 we were mightily impressed by a lovely smooth jazz album from San Francisco’s Greg Chambers’. The long player in question was ‘Can’t Help Myself’ and we enjoyed its polish and soulful undertow – typified by the standout, ‘Wait Awhile’.
Right now classically-trained Greg, has just released his latest offering – the ten tracker that is ‘A New Day’ – like ‘Can’t Help Myself’, it’s a master class in what the best, old fashioned smooth jazz is all about; that’s to say, strong melodies, a soulful vibe and a polished, clean and clear delivery that makes no real demands yet offers plenty of laid back enjoyment.
‘A New Day’ boasts plenty of foot-tapping, moderate up-tempo moments – best typified by the title cut; though ‘When I Think Of You’ and ‘Midnight Drive’ offer more of the same. If “Quiet Storm” is more your thing, you’ll find plenty to enjoy. Sweetest of the down-time moments is ‘Gotta Get Back To You’ while there’s an enchanting horn riff on ‘Side To Side’.
Most ambitious or experimental track (though maybe “experimental” isn’t the best word to use in the smooth jazz context) is ‘Tell Me All Your Secrets’. There’s a touch of electro about this one and Preston Smith’s flugelhorn adds some welcome alternative shading.
Sadly, we think, there are no vocal tracks (if I remember, there were two on ‘Can’t Help Myself’); a vocal or two – maybe even a cover version – might just have added a little variety. That said, ‘A New Day’ does offer everything good that we associate with smooth jazz and like Greg’s earlier albums, it’s sure to make its mark on the smooth jazz album charts.