Anniversary - Single
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Review by Kelly O'Neil 5 out of 5 stars!
Artist: Vandell Andrew
Review by Kelly O’Neil
Look out jazz world – there is a new kid in town. Literally, saxophonist Vandell Andrew
was forced to leave his hometown of New Orleans, a truly happening place for jazz
music, in the wake of the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. Andrew found himself in
Dallas, which after a period of readjustment lead him to write and record his debut album
Years Later…. The young saxophonist has received critical acclaim for his efforts and is
gaining more experience through the opportunities of sharing the stage with renowned
artists Kirk Whalum and Tom Braxton.
Andrew’s latest work is a cover of the sensual R&B ballad “Anniversary” off the 1993
album Sons of Soul by Tony! Toni! Toné! The vocal hook from the original is song is
used but Andrew takes the lead in this smooth jazz instrumental. He has a lovely tone
that is clear and bright with a touch of vibrato that adds depth without any dramatic
distraction. Andrew’s articulation is seamless with his lightly tongued passages adding
variation but is never punchy. He also plays well with his dynamic swells at times almost
fading away to nothing but maintaining such suburb breath control that he comes rolling
back in one gliding continuous aural wave.
Helping to showcase Andrew’s incredible talent on “Anniversary” is Grammy-nominated
producer Nate Harasim (Dave Koz). The song was mixed by smooth jazz producer/
engineer and fellow saxophonist Darren Rahn (Eric Darius, Tim Bowman). Mastering
was done by Emmy-nominated Ron Boustead of Resolution Mastering. These seasoned
professionals added their personal touches to make Andrew’s playing shine like gold.
His blend with the electric guitar is flawless, however the piano could have used a bit
more sustain when playing the upper keys since Andrew mostly delves in the mid and
lower registers of the horn.
Despite the improvement in synthesizers over the last 20 years, this updated version
of “Anniversary” is more interesting than the original. No offense taken to guitarist
Dwayne Wiggins, but Andrew’s saxophone adds more ornamentation and flow to the
song. He does do vocalist Raphael Saadiq justice however with his silken glossy timbre.
Andrew is poised to become the next big thing in the jazz world as evidenced by just this
one single alone.
Review by Kelly O’Neil
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
THIS IS A MUST HAVE!
This is amazing! Definitely one of the best remakes I've ever heard of this song!
I love this guy's sax playing. Such a good song to chill to!
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