"Rio" opens the album with an African beat, smooth horns and Butler’s extreme talent on guitar. Rick Braun leans in for the feel of smooth trumpet, island style.
Knowing pain leads to a higher rebounding joy with the freedom that follows. Such is the exhilaration inspiring Butler’s written tribute to Nelson Mandela on "Mandela Bay," the second track of jonathan. A little reggae motion on the side keeps this lively.
Making a shift, "10 Degrees South" has a deeper guitar sound still perky, very rhythmic. Infused with spirited and airy background vocals. Butler takes a turn to a slower, smoother melody with "Randy’s Song," which highlights Dave Koz on sax.
James Taylor’s song, "Fire and Rain" is done richly with Butler’s sensual vocals, in front of a background of David Dyson’s gentle bass. "Precious Things" shows off David Diggs’ string arrangements and highlights Greg Wachter on keyboards in an enchanting island beat. Butler performs on guitar in a perky percussive rhythm.
Precision driven notes on guitar during "Sweet Island Love," is interspersed with Eric Valentine doing a magnetic drumbeat. It is easy to feel the island wind blowing gently across the skin as the sun warms the soul. "Baby Love" is even more upbeat, with Butler’s vocals up front.
Written by Butler and David Batteau, "Spirit of Our Nation" features Jodie Butler’s light vocals in a spiritual tribute to the nation they so dearly love. Bringing the album to a close, "Move Me" does just that as Gerald Albright shares the spotlight with his commanding saxophone.
Melding island rhythms, spiritual beats, smooth jazz and sprinkled with love, Jonathan stays interesting, with something for everyone. No longer oppressed, Jonathan Butler now heard around the world in his joyous celebration of life, love and music. Jonathan Butler’s new CD, jonathan, from Rendezvous Entertainment, is a Billboard best seller with nationwide airplay.