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Tim Bowman

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Album Review

In 2007, the veteran Detroit born guitarist reached a milestone of acceptance in the smooth jazz realm by joining for the first time the annual Guitars & Saxes tour with genre heavyweights Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum, and Jeff Golub. For Bowman, being part of this illustrious lineup was the culmination of a handful of frenetic years that have marked his emergence as a smoothie star. He'd broken through on the radio a few years prior when his track "Summer Groove," was on the Radio & Records airplay chart for 45 weeks and hit number one. Still, being an indie artist is a tough road, and this instantly engaging self-titled debut on Trippin N' Rhythm is only his first in the four years since This Is What I Hear. Beyond sharp, instantly infectious electric melodies and grooves that engage from the get-go (as on the breezy opening track "Sweet Sundays" and the crisp, shuffling funk cool of "High Def" and "Motor City Shuffle"), set Bowman apart from his peers, this set is the balance he offers with romantic acoustic driven gems like the dreamy Brazilian-lite of "For You, My Love," the brassy Latin jam "Sunset," and the lush and meditational "Rapture" (featuring Najee's soaring soprano sax). Bowman's stature in smoothville is confirmed by his first-class guest list — beyond Najee, he's working with rising genre producer Darren Rahn ("Sweet Sundays," the bright and snazzy "Steppin'," and the seductive retro-soul jam "On the Flyyy"), Kirk Whalum (on the sweet tribute to Bowman's mother "The Gift"), and the ubiquitous Jeff Lorber (who produced and plays piano on the old-school, midtempo closer "Mr. B"). The guitarist also introduces listeners to the next generation by featuring his sensual voiced son Tim Bowman, Jr. on another sweeping lovelorn winner "All I Need Is You." Smooth jazz guitar discs don't get any more likeable, creative, festive, and engaging than this.

Tim Bowman, Tim Bowman
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