GREG CHAMBERS: Can’t Help Myself (

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Sax man Greg Chambers is a newish kid on the smooth jazz block but the music on this – his third full album- bears all the hallmarks of a veteran of the scene. The 11 tracker is stuffed with catchy, polished, soul based grooves and the Master Of Music from UCLA kicks off the album with a strong quartet of foot tappers – ‘Can’t Help Myself’, ‘In The Moment’, ‘So Into You’ and ‘Off The Cuff’.

The long player also boasts a set of decent ballad moments like the lush ‘Come A Little Closer’, the unashamedly romantic ‘Dreaming Of You’ and ‘It’s On’ which features long-time collaborator, Paul Brown on distinctive guitar. Good too to see that Greg realizes that smooth jazz fans are partial to the odd vocal – they add colour and variety to what can sometimes be a limiting genre. Here Greg includes two vocal cuts and both ‘All My Life’ and ‘Lovely’ would sit nicely on any Quiet Storm radio feature. Vocalist on the former, by the way is Jalen Seawright, while on the latter Kevin Lewis takes to the mic.

The track I keep coming back to though is a lovely mid-tempo groove called ‘Wait Awhile’. It’s the set’s most soul-based tune and reminded me of the great David Sanborn in its focus on that magic groove. Listen up too to ‘Saturday Afternoon’ – a pleasing, understated item, with a simple melody that could well be a paean to the fading summer.

Like everything on the album it’s played with precision and polish and delivered in the way smooth jazz fans have come to expect. Expect ‘Can’t Help Myself’ to follow Greg’s two previous albums into the Smooth Jazz Top 50.

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(BB) 3/5