Smooth jazz guitarist, vocalist and composer Roger Chong, a graduate of York University in Toronto, works leading his own jazz group, playing in bands lead by others and teaching grade school students in Toronto. Love Me One More Time is his second release as a leader.
This short, under 35 minutes, CD contains 10 original compositions, all by Chong. The smooth jazz fare is almost all radio friendly and done in a quartet setting. Accompanied on keyboards by Denis Kugappi, bassist Ken McDonald and drummer Steve Farrugia, the ensemble admirably fleshes out Chong's light melodies.
Kugappi is especially talented. This is best seen in the work he does playing some sweet lines within the, at times, rhythmically and metrically turbulent world of "The Grandpa Squad," his especially tasteful introduction to "Love Me One More Time" and his sure handed phrases on "Tin Tin." McDonald's bass work is exacting and Farrugia provides a graceful bedrock from which the others can launch their lines.
Chong is a talented guitarist who is obviously influenced by other smooth jazz guitarists like George Benson and Norman Brown. Chong's lines are sure-footed, yet supple and by preferring to stay in the lower registers of the guitar, he creates a distinctive sound. Highlights include the easy rockers "Tin Tin" and "Sneaky Freddie."
If there is a fault it's in the sparse quartet sound. Some of the tracks beg for both fuller arrangements as well string and synth backgrounds. In the end, however, this is a small complaint. A fine release by an artist who is still developing.