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Urban Knights Present The Chicago Project by The Chicago Project

Producer of the extremely popular Urban Knights series of releases Frayne T. Lewis decided to spotlight three of the people who have been an intragral part of the Urban Knights series in CD named The Chicago Project. Trumpeter Ron Haynes, keyboardist Kevin Randolph and guitarist Fareed Haque, who has had a couple of great releases on his own, are able to showcase their talents in a release that to me has a more urban feel than most of the previously released Urban Knights projects.

The Chicago Project has Haynes, Randolph and Haque performing their individual tracks and then all three perform on only one track called Three's Company. Haynes and Haque best show off their individual specialties while Randolph seem to be more laid back in his tracks, even though he is featured on six of the CD's 11 tracks. The performer I was impressed with is Ron Haynes, who shows flashes of Miles Davis' more contemporary and experimental efforts. His tracks of That Girl, On the Block and Keep it Real are the strongest with Fareed Haque's A Place in Time and Myths and Legends right behind.

Urban Knights Present the Chicago Project is jazz that hits today's streets hard and gritty. Frayne T. Lewis' idea to help expand the role of the Urban Knights series is one that I hope continues with other performers from the Chicago area. He and Ramsey Lewis, the legendary pianist who help created the Urban Knights, are two people who can show that smooth jazz doesn't come from just the east and west coasts. It also hits the country's heartland with special sensitivity that should always be at the forefront of American's love for jazz.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: The Chicago Project
  • CD Title: Urban Knights Present The Chicago Project
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Narada Jazz
  • Musicians: Ron Haynes (trumpet), Kevin Randolph (keyboards), Fareed Haque (guitar)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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