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Simple Truth

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Album Review

Recorded in Bonn, Germany, Jeff Kashiwa's second release for the Native Language label, Simple Truth, documents ten fresh songs written by Kashiwa and Dave Kochanski. On Simple Truth, the highly popular smooth jazz saxophonist is joined by members of his Coastal Access band and also features fellow ex-Rippington bandmate Steve Reid. Here, Kashiwa illustrates his highly acclaimed lyrical technique of playing and collaborates with the award-winning producer Chuck Loeb, using smooth jazz, traditional jazz, and funky grooves. The vast experience of Loeb is readily apparent on such great songs as "3-Day Weekend" a bright, brassy, song with a soulful blues groove; "Mediterranean Nights"; the solemn "A Quiet Goodbye"; and "The Good Life." Loeb's creative arrangements of "Simple Truth" and "Thanks to You" allow Jeff Kashiwa to showcase his sensitive and soft sides, as well as his wonderfully melodic interpretations for romantic-natured listeners. With Simple Truth, Loeb has laid a strong foundation for Jeff Kashiwa to deepen his stake in smooth jazz territory and to reign among the smooth jazz elite. Its incredible improvisations and joyous jams are highlights that push this CD past that of his previous release, Another Door Opens.

Customer Reviews

And now, the real deal...

Like trying to divine the gospel from a sea of televangelists, the search for good modern jazz saxophone music is fraught with imposters and imitators. Welcome to the real thing. Jeff Kashiwa is one of the guys that somehow manages to remember to inject serious playing and writing into his albums rather than just stamp out a few more songs whose inspiration rises no higher than the loop on the drum machine. Back when we called this genre "Fusion" or "Contemporary Jazz" and the oxymoronic word "smooth" never entered the equation, Jeff was cutting his teeth with the Rippingtons. One only need to have attended one of those Ripp's shows to know that Jeff had something special. Jeff's got more heart, soul, feel, & melodic sensibility than a hundred Boney Jameses or other soap-star-sax-player clogging the smooth jazz airways. This CD builds on Jeff's last CD and features more outstanding song writing from Jeff and the brilliant Dave Kochanski (Rippingtons, George Duke, Norman Brown, even Britney Spears, etc.) From the hooky, four on the floor "Three Day Weekend" to the soulful ballads, this CD shines on every level... especially the dying art of songwriting. Oh, yeah, it also uses something really rare... actual live musicians interacting musically with each other. In a genre that has been all but taken over by music to be listened to in elevators and dentist offices, it's great to have one artist stay true to his sound. Here he is, Jeff Kashiwa.

Jazz and Pop

Is it just me, or does 'Voices' have the same beat as 'Everyday' from HSM 2?


Born: Seattle, WA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

One of the most successful smooth jazz saxophonists, Jeff Kashiwa made his name as a member of the popular group the Rippingtons. Starting out on the clarinet at age ten, it would be two years before the Seattle-born musician switched to saxophone. Influenced early on by such smooth jazz progenitors as Chuck Mangione and Spyro Gyra, Kashiwa eventually moved to Boston to attend Berklee College and developed an interest in straight-ahead jazz -- a skill that often colors his live performances. His...
Full Bio
Simple Truth, Jeff Kashiwa
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Customer Ratings