The Window on The Smooth Jazz Ride by Ronald Jackson
In my opinion there are very few masters of the string more adeptly diverse and prolific all i9n the same breath than guitarist Patrick Yandall who, with the upcoming release of his 12th release "The Window" can boast having covered so much territory that Rands would have to create a new map to account for all the ground this artist has covered. Including a hot-to-the-touch rocker CD entitled "Going for One", a lot of Muzak, a repertoire of contemporary jazz, R&B, Carribean, Soul, and other such goodies, what more can one ask from any musician? Maybe that he write and produce all of the tracks and play all of the instruments, including dual guitar parts? Well he's doing that on his this latest, as well.
The Window leaves few areas uncovered as Yandall delves headfirst into soothing sounds of the more mellow distractions of the smooth jazz guitar then takes on various journeys through islands, complete with steel pans and vibes. Never mind the sounds. Where this guy gets the ideas and the material in such rapid-fire fashion is amazing. That is where his prolific side presents itself. Consider for a moment that "Going for One" was just released in January of this year on the heals of 2009's "A New Day". Now "The Window" we're listening to yet another completely new all-original project.
O.K. Time for my track by track breakdown. The opening track "To the Left" is a hook-tight popping little number thats positioned just right as the lead track. Lots of smiles and party power. Thats followed by the snappy "Tower of Soul", which in fact, quite soulful with some seriously energetic riffs from Yandall. "La Jolla" with it's laid back Caribbean flavor, steel pans, and acoustic touch from Yandall makes you don your beach hat and shades and just settle back to bask in that warming island sun and soak in all that richness. Hey, you've got it all: Music, beach, life. Pretty gorgeous setting.
The title track, one of my favs (but I have many here) is a very intoxicating mid-tempo rhytmic piece with a very catchy hook. Many have offered a heartfelt tribute to Haiti, and Yandall is no different, offering a very bluesy and telling track to the island, "Hope for Haiti". It simply drips with emotion.
The equally beautiful love ballad "You and I" is bound to help someone fall in love for the first time. Its charm is that appealing and sweet. "City By the Bay" takes one back to another time, perhaps the 80's, when rock and pop played with that semi-innocent "Baby, you complete me" kind of vibe and it's mid-tempo groove and attractive hook. Yandall's guitar does that period a huge justice here.
I would be totally remiss if I exited without a word about Yandall's handling of the funk factor., as evidenced on tarcks like "Lifelines". Deliberate yet cool and jazzy. You certainly don't lose sight of the fact that you are in the presence of well played funk.
The Window. So appropriately named. On this project, that "window" is once again opened enough for you to see all that Yandall is and has always been to not only our world of jazz but to the infinite world of music. A world of music so infinite that its challenge is always to much for Patrick to ignore, and he rises each time to successfully face that very challenge.-Ronald Jackson "The Smooth Jazz Ride"