I have been enjoying guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Butler's music for several years and my favorite album until now was "Deliverance." He has also given some great performance during the Jazz Explosion tours a few years back. As I was preparing this review, I read about his latest release, "Surrender" and the love and spirit that went into creating this wonderful album. This project was originally intended to be a gospel album which is quite evident by the spiritual feel of the ballads and instrumentals. Jonathan celebrates 25 years of Jonathan being a recording artist. He started singing and playing guitar when he was 7 years old and traveled extensively through his homeland of South Africa which was ravaged with Apartheid. If he were to pocket himself into a genre of music, it would be "soul jazz" but his life experiences provide such a broad canvas for him to draw from. You can hear the celebration of love in the opening song "This Is Love." "Pata Pata" was first made famous by Miriam Makeba in the 60's. The title track "Surrender" features a bit of call and response between Jonathan and saxophonist Boney James. "Take Me Back" celebrates coming back to our spiritual center while "Wake Up" comes alive with bouncy South African rhythms and "River of Life" is filled with peace and tranquility. This album about the love, faith, and spirit that lives within all of us and definitely touches the heart. Enjoy!