At a time when the latest, hot new music in the contemporary/smooth jazz scene is being poured on us in heavy, powerful and deliberate ways, Ken Navarro has arrived like a …
At a time when the latest, hot new music in the contemporary/smooth jazz scene is being poured on us in heavy, powerful and deliberate ways, Ken Navarro has arrived like a breath of fresh spring air to take us to an island of beauty and consolation. His latest project "Island Life" is a delivery of happy, light, joyous melodies that lift the spirit and command smiles!
With the strength of his band at his side, Gary Grainger (bass), Andre "Blues" Webb (drums), Dan LaMaestra (piano and keyboards) Ken added a gentle tenor and soprano saxophone in his mix of many of the tunes which is graciously delivered by Rob Holmes. They are a tight combination of talent that harmoniously and in sync, deliver the essence of uplifting and warm melodies. The title track takes you just there and through this journey of music, you will be walking the entire island, enjoying its beauty.
Constant is the Navarro style, distinctive and classy in his usage of both the electric and acoustic guitars (and you'll even hear Ken on keyboards on this one). Combining a touch of funk, a touch of soul, and a little bit of his rock 'n roll heart, he's written a series of songs that in their delivery are totally smooth and in this has performed magic. Songs such as "Souvenir" and "Delicioso" carry the catchy tunes that always set him apart. And combined in this masterpiece are tunes such as "Sweet Mercy" and "A World of Our Own" that are lyrical, romantic and sweet; moving to the point that they can capture your heart and send you dreaming. And to remind us all of why we became Ken Navarro fans in the first place, a bonus track of Ken's famous "Try Again" is presented in it's live version with former band members, Jay Rowe on keys and Bruce Guttridge on drums. The blend of the "new" with the "established" works to perfection; the listener is in constant rapture, only being allowed to relinquish himself to the mastery of acoustic guitar at the culmination of the album.
By far, this is Ken Navarro's best in this writer's estimation and the musical world will take note of this project. He has turned a corner with this work, placing him solidly in the smooth jazz ranks alongside other jazz acoustic greats and far ahead of most. Every single track on this CD is nothing short of beautiful and inspirational. Played with the virtuosity of this guitar laureate, technically precise and clean you will be instantly hooked! A must buy in anticipation of summer days and winter months when the listener can be swept away even while sitting in traffic or behind a desk! Highly recommended and due out shortly!