Powerfully dynamic is the only way to illustrate in verse the eclectic flair and artistry of Marion Meadows, destined to be a heavy hitter in the historical arena of jazz. "Player’s Club" is dedicated to those musicians in Meadows life, his friends, who have out-and-out, committed their lives to the larger than life, jazz phenomenon. This project is best labeled as a jam session on a perpetual high, natural as it may seem, explosive with pulsating rhythms flowing through the instruments of his trade, like blood flows through veins, igniting a fresh new life to the listening aficionados. Oh what a treat, Meadows musical feat!
The artist from Connecticut, in partnership with the guidance of Heads Up Records, releases a true gem among the line of lackluster labors recently intruding on the jazz scene. A musical recipe of Neo-soul, R&B, and Hip Hop, "Player’s Club" makes for an entrée of eclectic dishes, each served up as an individual course unto it’s own. Like fine dining, you want to return for more.
"Player’s Club" offers eleven tracks, recorded in numerous venues, familiarizes the listener to several fine musicians. Old friends of Meadows such as Chip Sherin (Bass), Chieli Minucci, Freddie Fox, and Darnell Taylor (Guitarist), plus vocalist Doug Myers. Many other join in this stage of rather unique and extremely gifted musical troubadours.
Meadows goal was to push the envelope with this project, even though he accomplished that with a few of the cuts, I believe simply put it is what it is, pure jazz in the form it should be in.... jazz with integrity and panache!
Title cut "Player’s Club" introduces one of the finest introductions I have heard for some time, as sounds burst from the stage via horns, a masterpiece in arraigning. Catch the keyboards on this ride through....
"Noche Privada", one of my select cuts on this project join together a superior mix of guitar and horn as that crisp Spanish-esk flavor simmers in your mind. Minucci’s sultry efforts are flawless and crisp through this piece with Meadows sax blanketing the entire composition.
Fox and Michael B inject imagination into the magic of "After 6:00", last cut on the project, how fitting it ends with a piece like this. The effects in the piece along with the strong sax presence of Meadows make this a high selection. Fans will appreciate the changes in mood on this cut as well, look for the keyboard moments that still the emotional juices in midstream.... nice job!
As a creative writer, this is the type of project that ignites ones literary juices, when scripting thoughts, to offer my judgment on Player’s Club is not a chore but its why we do what we do, for the privilege!
Karl Stober is an international freelance columnist and broadcaster. Feel free to forward your ideas,comments or freelance assignments to him.