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Between Us

Steve Cole

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Album Review

Fast becoming one of smooth jazz's hookiest songwriters, Steve Cole scored two number one radio hits off his 1998 debut, Stay Awhile. No doubt that program directors will continue to favor those tunes, but hopefully it won't be at the expense of the takes-one-listen-only-to-hum craftsmanship of many of the tracks on the follow-up, Between Us (Atlantic). He has the notion of "quick verse, get to the brassy hook" down to such a science that it may take a few listens to realize that the opening two tracks, "Got It Goin' On" and "From the Start" are two different songs. On both, producer Brian Culbertson provides the simmering retro-keyboard atmospheres beneath a silky, laid-back tenor lines but only for brief respites between the perfect choruses, on which Cole textures tenor with multiple alto-backing tracks. Cole sticks with this approach while varying rhythms throughout the disc, as if holding back on us throughout the verse sections and then making sure his hooks are brass-amplified so that we keep wanting him to return to them. He and Culbertson take this technique to new and exciting levels on a slow-simmering cover of TLC's "Waterfalls," texturing a horn section lead melody with another multiple horn harmony section; every few beats, Cole jumps out of the pattern to blow a cool tenor improvisation. Cole is a muscular tenor player by trade but will no doubt attract the mush lovers with his very tender soprano beauty on "For Your Love."

Customer Reviews

Together again!

A very Special Cut!
I think this cd was very much over looked!
It's awesome! I especially like the song "Together Again"--it's sweet!
Very Talented Person--he is!

So Into You

A nice song for a night out in the city.

Biography

Born: August 17, 1970 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The title of Steve Cole's third recording, NY LA, may trip on the East Coast-meets-West Coast hipness factor of his fresh and crackling brand of smooth sax jazz, but the soul in his music definitely has more than a few touches of the R&B/blues influence of his hometown, Chicago. The saxman's trademark sound is a sizzling mix of modern funk textures and neo-soul sensibilities mixed with quick, catchy hooks and feisty horn textures on the choruses. He's primarily a tenor player, but keeps the listener...
Full Bio
Between Us, Steve Cole
View In iTunes
  • $9.90
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, R&B/Soul, Smooth Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Quiet Storm, Easy Listening
  • Released: Jul 07, 2000

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