Cut The Chord
When I hear smooth jazz recordings like this, I often wonder: Was this the direction that these artists intended their musical careers to go? Did they start out playing songs by Louis Armstrong and John Coltrane or even Dave Brubeck, but their abilities couldn’t hold muster? Or did they figure that the real money was to be made playing pop jazz that is safe for background music in hotel restaurants or casinos and jump in the lukewarm waters with both feet?
Granted, the music is closer to R&B than jazz, with its fair to middling attempts at funky flava and the mere fact that Ross’s flute playing sticks with one melodic line, refusing to let go. But that’s what the whole smooth jazz movement is all about, sticking to the straight and narrow, and evoking images of crashing waves and cool primary colors. The music here is safe, sanguine, and nigh to unbearable to listen to for longer than the EP’s 20-minute length.
Theo Ross: www.theoross.com