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Andrey Chmut — Smoothability

June 24, 2018

Smoothability is another high-steppin’ album from producer/guitarist U-Nam’s record label Skytown. It’s one that captures the jazz/pop/soul spirit of the guitarist and is presented by his latest label recruit, new Ukranian saxman Andrey Chmut, an artist who proves here to be of the high-caliber stock of saxmen with major promise.

Aside from a guest appearance by the iconic Bob James and another label recruit Valeriy Stepanov, I must admit that I was totally unfamiliar with the musicians accompanying Chmut here, but let me be the first to tell you that these guys absolutely kill it. From Chmut’s sassy sax to thick bass runs to in-the-pocket drums to lilting keys to solid vocals and beyond, there is plenty of hot, supercharged action going on here.

Often, great quality doesn’t come from sources you know well. Such is the case here, and you would do yourself a grave injustice by not availing yourself of the pleasure presented on this album.

There’s plenty of material to get your engine revved up. There’s the fast and furious lead and title track, there’s the catchy mid-tempo stride of “Those Sweet Nights,” there’s the sexy and very melodic “Song For a Friend” featuring U-Nam and some very nice backing vocals, there’s Chmut’s talkative sax and the driving rhythm of “I’ll Always Be There,” there’s the very familiar charm of the renowned Bob James as he mesmerizes on keys on “Moving Forward” (a very slick exercise in sensuality and funk all wrapped up together), and more.

Get your ears wrapped around this one as Andrey Chmut seems poised to make his a household name on the jazz scene. – Ronald Jackson