14 Songs, 55 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

Eb Jazz ,

ERIC BOLVIN, No Boundaries

On No Boundaries, Eric Bolvin’s supremely eclectic, genre busting and pigeonhole defying follow-up to his 2009 release Workin’ It, the versatile veteran San Francisco based composer and trumpet master perfectly embodies a spirit all independent artists wish they could access. That is, instead of trying to tailor all their tracks to be as accessible and radio friendly as possible, he finds a unique way to mix the mainstream with the adventurous, creating a listening experience completely connected to the unexpected. He makes the transition easy, centering his vibe around a smoky toned B-flat trumpet while whipping up the delightfully melodic, easy grooving radio friendly “Late Night Call” to seduce us into the deeper experience. This romantic and sexy track has everything solid urban jazz needs these days to race to the top of the charts: an easy flowing coolly bubbling bassline, a thoughtful and graceful melody, soaring horn textures behind the lead melody line and sweet synth atmospheres. The gently charming “Late Night Call” is smack dab in the middle of a unique palette of musical pleasures that will challenge fans of this vibe to explore new musical territory with Bolvin.

“El Gato Loco” floats a dreamy, soulful trumpet melody over a lilting trip hop/reggae groove. “Z-Mode” funkily fuses symphonic synth textures and moody trumpeting with buoyant hip-hop bass grooves and infectious scratching. On the delightfully Latin flavored “Cricket Dance,” Bolvin surrounds his smoky horn with a dashing swirl of flamenco guitar, shuffling Latin percussion and harmonica sounds. He then trips lightly into new age and Eastern territory, creating the perfect ambient massage soundtrack with the flute-driven, nature sound enhanced “Sea Of Leaves.”

Bolvin puts his trumpet aside in favor of harmonica and fiddle sounds while chilling on the front porch for the laconic bluesy Americana charm of “Easin’ The Pain”—which surely will! Getting a little more aggressive, but still chillin’ to some degree, he creates a funky electronic/lounge/chill out groove behind the bubbly hypnosis of a melody on “Knuckle Knows.” Fans of the trumpeter’s Workin’ It album will recognize his new, extended trance mix of “Panama Red” instantly; the track continues the bubbling chill vibe but includes fun horn blasts and a soothing synth melody. Bolvin wraps No Boundaries with “Ano Nuevo,” a piece he wrote to ring in 2010 that starts out as a romantic Latin ballad before evolving into a danceable, horn drenched jam that screams “Fiesta!” With unexpected twists and turns, the track is the perfect way to put a coda on this fascinating collection.

--Jonathan Widran, Jazziz Magazine
Jazz Editor, Wine and Jazz Magazine

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