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Turbulence

Airborne

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Album Review

One has to admire a veteran band whose liner notes denote their desire to make this a more peaceful world through music, yet call their latest disc Turbulence. The title is more a clever wordplay with the name of the multicultural, Connecticut based contemporary jazz ensemble that is hugely popular in New England but has also made inroads into the hearts of smooth jazz fans across the country over the years. One listen to the supercharged carnival of swirling guitars, brass, drums, wordless vocals, and Latin and samba action on the opening cut "Festival at Sunset" and nobody's going to be asking for peace anytime soon! "Smooth Sailing" is a little gentler, but there's still a heavy bass bottom (courtesy of Steven Clarke) and the bright give and take between the crackling electric guitar of Gregory Borino and the punchy sax and flute of Thomas Sansone. Just when you think the plane is grounded somewhere lovely in the U.S., Airborne's off to Africa for the tribal voice and soundscape heavy "Native Search," which puts the melodic focus on Sansone's flute — a no-no in 2007 at smooth jazz radio but a brilliant touch here, especially paired with Gregory Borino's electric axe. "Drums of Peace/Awakening" is similarly jungly and grooving yet also soaring and smooth. Jazz purists who find all this a bit too poppy may be satisfied with the swinging big-band jam "Hillside Swing" that smacks of cool, "real jazz." Featured vocalist Elizabeth Dellinger has a nice sensual presence on "What About Love," but the vocal textures of "As We Journey" might seem more at home on one of those fun '70s disco fusion projects — a problem easily solved by simply calling this "retro." A band named Airborne has probably heard every aviation cliché possible, but here's another: Turbulence really takes off, adding a much needed dose of global adventure to smooth jazz.

Customer Reviews

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Turbulence, Airborne
View In iTunes
  • $8.91
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Jul 30, 2007

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