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To Be Sure by Dan Reynolds

The disc is light, but rhythmic in content. It waxes well, particularly in soft-jazz circles, but not limited to that genre alone. Perhaps it's wiser to say that there's a good mixture here. "From The Top" is both adequately titled as it makes a strong entry. Reynolds goes organic and heats this track. The next two, "The Answer" and "Delafield Place," are a little lighter, but carry just as much weight. The interplay between musicians is very cooperative, no one is shouting out the other on their respective instruments.

One of the most melodic would have to be the title track, "To Be Sure," filled with sentiment and yet quite joyful. "With My Friends" showcases Dawn Robinson's uplifting vocals, celebrating the joys of friendship, over a serene melody. While the tracks are consistent, they don't just stick to one formula. "Deep Freeze" is more of a groove track than the rest. Brian Lanier has a nicer sound picking up the soprano sax, which isn't overpowering.

The ensemble sets into a samba-type groove with "Boogoo in Brazil." Marshall Keys swings on alto along with Reynolds. This is definitely one of the best and has a lot going on. "One Night In A Storm," tells of a quiet storm, and gently flows with Keys tender sax leading into Valentino's guitar solo while Reynolds piano lightly rolls. The pace picks up a little for "Dark Horse," a soft jam, with Alejandro Lucini laying on some very nice percussion and sax by Fraize. "Three Steps" is a really beautiful track; very melodic and ever so smooth. Through it all, bassists, Gary Grainger and David Dyson lend support that enhances the sound, rather than pounding the other musicians out.

Reynolds and company deliver some pleasant sounds that I find hard to categorize. Good! That means less limits and freedom to recommend to a variety of listeners. The disc is a nice combination of mood music and tight jams. Listen up!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Dan Reynolds
  • CD Title: To Be Sure
  • Year Released: 1998
  • Record Label: Never Alone Music
  • Musicians: Dan Reynolds (piano and all keyboards, drum/percussion programming), Mike Scott, Wayne Bruce, Vinny Valentino, Barney Chalon (guitar), Peter Fraize (tenor sax), Brian Lanier (soprano, tenor & alto saxes), Marshall Keys (alto sax), Al Williams (soprano sax), Gary Grainger, David Dyson (bass), Francis Thompson, Greg Grainger (drums), Alejandro Lucini (percussion), Dawn Robinson (vocals)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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