Imagine a cover song by a famous Beatle done by a jazz guitarist. Steve Oliver ‘3D’ has one: Imagine by John Lennon. Oliver takes over the vocal parts of the old but instead of singing them he plays them on guitar...Excellent!
The drumming of former Fourplay drummer Harvey Mason and saxophonist Eric Marienthal and a whole list of others highlight this album and along with obvious guitar playing, Steve sings on three of the tracks coming off with a pop sounding vocal. ‘Let It Go’ has a great vocal and Steve’s guitar playing is sensual. Track eight on the disc is called ‘3-D: Third Dimension’ and it covers a lot of ground in its almost five minute time length. Tom Schuman provides us with a small keyboard/piano interlude that would have liked to see a bit longer but you can not have it all and it does fit the song.
This is the third album from Oliver and rotating company and he keeps on getting better and better which each new release starting with ‘First View’ from 1999 and then onto ‘Positive Energy’ in 2002. There is a song on this album called ‘Funhouse’ and with laughter in the beginning this is going to be fun as Oliver plays a little, not too serious but yet not to silly. It sounds as though it was a planned/spontaneous jam and it fades out with laughter again showing that not all musicians and album making is that serious of task.
Steve Oliver has been nominated at the Smooth Jazz Awards for Best New Artist and Best Guitar Player and does over 200 live gigs a year. He enjoys the live gig and it tests his new songs on the audience and gets great reviews each time. This album by Steve Oliver is bright and fresh because it not just a guitar oriented album, there are ‘pop songs’ on here, this album is a ‘Funhouse’ of material that is worth getting.