Music Reviews
Joel Del Rosario

Joel Del Rosario

Calm In The Storm


One wonders if the Katrina disaster had anything to do with the inspiration behind this album; after all, the title can be interpreted as such, right? Joel Del Rosario certainly has the right smooth-jazz grooves to comfort the distressed. His clean, polished guitar playing is in itself a force of nature. He is a fluid musician, his fingers having mastery over not only the guitar but the bass as well. Just check out his pulsating work on the propulsive “Back in the Day.”

There are reflective pieces on here like “One Way Street” and “355 Ocean,” both of which conjure images of a rainy night on the town. Based in San Francisco, Del Rosario certainly has that Bay Area flavor. This is not Los Angeles smooth jazz with its sunny textures. Del Rosario’s compositions are more dynamic, alive, and eclectic. On “Her Favorite” and “Padre Burgos,” Del Rosario introduces a spicy Latin beat to his music, generating enough electricity to light up the neighborhood.

Guest vocalist George Hunter lends a hand to “LJP (Love, Joy, Peace),” but for the most part this is Del Rosario’s show. And from beginning to end he has us in the palm of his hand.

Joel Del Rosario:

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