10 Songs, 44 Minutes


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5

7 Ratings

7 Ratings

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?

About Jeff Kashiwa

One of the most successful smooth jazz saxophonists, Jeff Kashiwa made his name as a member of the popular group the Rippingtons. Born in 1963 in Louisville, Kentucky, Kashiwa moved early on with his family to Seattle, where he started out on the clarinet (a gift from his father) at age ten. However, it would be two years before he switched to saxophone. Influenced by such smooth jazz progenitors as Chuck Mangione and Spyro Gyra, Kashiwa eventually moved to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music and developed an interest in straight-ahead jazz -- a style that often colors his live performances. His hard work paid off when he landed the second alto chair in Disney's All American College Band.

Kashiwa found he liked Southern California and transferred to Cal State Long Beach to work on his Bachelor of Music. During this time he toured with the ska/reggae group the Untouchables, performing on MTV's first Spring Break. Later, while working at a grocery store by day and playing at night, Kashiwa hired bassist Steve Bailey -- then with the Rippingtons -- to play on a gig. Bailey introduced Kashiwa to the Rippingtons' pianist and leader, Russ Freeman, who hired Kashiwa in 1989 when the group's original saxophonist, Brandon Fields, left the group. It was during this time with the Rippingtons that Kashiwa recorded two solo albums, Remember Catalina in 1995 and Walkamile in 1997. Then, in 1999, he left the Rippingtons to concentrate more energy on his own band, Coastal Access.

Kashiwa's solo career has been in joyfully frenetic overdrive since the success of "Hyde Park (The Aah, Ooh Song)," a number one hit on the Radio & Records airplay chart for over eight weeks in 2000. His Native Language debut, Another Door Opens, and its more acoustic-oriented 2002 follow-up, Simple Truth, established him as one of smooth jazz's most dominant saxophone voices, and he consistently performed 60-80 shows annually with Coastal Access in addition to heavy gigging with artists like Joyce Cooling, Chieli Minucci, Acoustic Alchemy, and frequent collaborator and co-producer Chuck Loeb. In 2006, he reunited with the Rippingtons for the group's 20th anniversary tour and appeared as a guest on the band's 20th Anniversary release.

In the summer of 2007, he was featured on more live dates with the Rippingtons and released his fourth Native Language disc, Play. The following year, he joined fellow saxophonists Kim Waters and Steve Cole in the supergroup the Sax Pack before returning to his solo work with Back in the Day. He then contributed to David Benoit's Earthglow, and appeared on the Rippingtons' Modern Art and the South of France-inspired Côte d'Azur, before delivering his eighth studio album, 2012's Let It Ride. Also that year, he was back with the Rippingtons for Built to Last. More guest shots followed, including spots on albums with Brian Culbertson and Willie Bradley. The Sax Pack's aptly titled third studio album, Power of 3, appeared in 2015. In 2017 Kashiwa released Fly Away, featuring appearances by Marc Antoine, Acoustic Alchemy's Miles Gilderdale, Tom Schuman of Spyro Gyra, and others. ~ Jonathan Widran

    Louisville, KY
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