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The Limit's the Sky

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Album Review

The AMG review of the British retro-funky keyboardist's 2006 debut So Many Ways made favorable comparisons to the "Jeff Lorber school of soulful keyboarding." His engaging follow-up not only continues to expand in that always compelling vein, but actually has a classic styled Lorber tune, the bright, bubbling and edgy, piano and Rhodes driven "Seventh Heaven" in the mix. Lorber's trademark mix of moody old-schooling and simmering grooves passes its torch to Silk's new generation throughout, but ultimately, it's Silk's mix of elegant and cheerful melodies that are leading to his stake at smooth jazz stardom. The popular radio single "Chill or Be Chilled" backs his sensual piano melody with a light beat, some cool atmospheric effects, colorful sax shadings by Gary Honor and a crisp electric guitar solo by song co-writer Matt Park. Just as on his debut, Silk also mixes it up with feisty saxman Jaared on the disc's best cuts, including the playfully strutting "Lime Cordial Soup" and the percussive, scratch-enhanced title track, which features Silk's best blend of rollicking piano and dark toned synths. Most of the disc has ample grooves, but some folks like their smooth jazz to relax them, and Silk lives up to his last name on the super chilling, Jaared enhanced coolness of "De-Stress Signal." Most genre artists keep their tracks under five minutes by commercial default, so it's great to see the keyboardist stretch and let his bandmates solo on the expansive, atmospheric eight minutes of "Solidarity." Overall, a star making turn for Silk as he continued to establish his presence in a crowded smooth jazz field.

The Limit's the Sky, Oli Silk
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