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People Together by Under The Lake

You would never believe that the smooth jazz quintet Under The Lake have not released a studio album in over ten years with the precise syncopation they demonstrate on their current album People Together. It’s contemporary jazz-pop with clippings of smooth funk and snuggling neo-soul. It’s perfect for candlelit supper clubs, recreational ambiences, and evening strolls along the beach. UTL’s compositions present melodic themes that are casually elegant, soulfully intimate, and silhouetted with the downtime mood that comes with the evening mist. These are tracks which allow you to relax and make time for yourself. There is no thinking required or artistic fandangos imposed on the listener. The music is purely for the soul’s enjoyment without the band selling you on it.

The songs are an elixir that soothes the emotions with music that touch people’s souls in an intimate way regardless of their differences. I suppose that would explain why UTL believed a perfect title for this album would be People Together. Produced by the members of Under The Lake, Jayson Tipp - keyboards, Nathan Brown - bass, Richard Sellers - drums, Quintin Gerard W. - saxophone and flute, and David Harris - guitar, the songs all showcase everyone’s parts without anyone standing over the others. There is such unity in these songs that each musician plays a chord dynamic that is beneficial to the others and good for the songs as a whole. The music shows such warmth, agreement and a pleasurable coasting that it lures you to ride along with the movements like the soft fluid motions of "Lost." The melodic layers have a jazz-pop sophistication without creating clumps of serried notes. The melodies are neither sparse nor bulky, just right in the middle.

The bluesy funk stylizing of the guitar and keyboard lines on "Play On A Bet" are coded with a pleasing stride honing a crisp melodic timing with the cozy rhythmic furrows. The guitar chords have a thermal flamenco flavoring on "The Mess" as the flouncy flute movements create bowers of butterfly flutters along the fluid melodic motions. The music has a soothing intimacy that warms you like lounging in a hot-springs bath as the harmonies move you with their exquisite couture and attractive ambience. All the musical dynamics are tempered just right from the lulling opener "Redhead I Know" to the closing remix of "Diego’s Dance." The light dance rhythms of "Amazing Love" have a leisurely exuberance while the cascading keyboards and plush saxophone phrases on "In The Dark" mitigate a tranquilizing coalescence. The deep bass grooves of "Dirty But Sober" are gently stirred into the mercurial neo-soul mixture, but take on a more reposing specter on "Diego’s Dance." The harmonies produce consolidation as well as clean crisp lines which allow every instrument part to be heard clearly. The bass moves dazzle the melodic trapezes draping "Dreams" with a light sizzling steam. The songs have pleasing esthetics and attractive ambiences that move from celebratory like in "Sweet Life" to a contemplative reverence in "Lost."

Under The Lake’s current release People Together is music for the soul to enjoy. The band plays with such sensitivity to produce smooth melodics and lush sprawls that are pleasantly syncopated. Their harmonies are snug and the ambiences are soothing for the soul. The album charms its listener without being overbearingly persuasive. It’s the most comfortable way to be engrossed in music.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Under The Lake
  • CD Title: People Together
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: Mind In Overdrive Records
  • Tracks: Redhead I Know, Amazing Love, In The Dark, Dirty But Sober, Sounds Like It Now, Diego’s Dance, Dreams, House On The Hill, Sweet Life, Lost, People Together, Play On A Bet, This Mess, Diego’s Dance (remix)
  • Musicians: Nathan Brown (bass), Richard Sellers (drums), David Harris (guitar), Jayson Tipp (keyboards), Quintin Gerard W. (saxophone and flute), Jeff McCullough (percussion and programming), and Theresa Taylor (vocals on “In The Dark”)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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