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Brian Simpson – Something About You

Aug. 6, 2018

Longtime bearer of feel-good, silky smooth, and hot & smoky grooves, master keyboardist, producer, composer Brian Simpson once again proves why he is among the most sought-after musicians to create and/or enhance the quality of others’ recordings as well as why he stands on the top-tier with other c-jazz masters who command the flow and texture of this music.

From musical director to producer to master artist, Simpson has always poured his all into his work, resulting in prime caliber performances time and again, be they live or recordings. Here on his latest effort, Something About You, that high caliber is as intact as ever as he again offers us his musical magic potion of jazz, R&B, funk, and soul.

Working with the keyboardist here are such familiar names as guitarist Darrell Crooks, bassists Alex Al and Andre Berry, percussionist Ramon Yslas, and the inimitable guitarist/composer Steve Oliver who actually doesn’t offer his guitar here but rather serves as programmer, co-writer of some tracks, and co-producer of the album.

Lots of ear candy here as you take in the slick & funky title track, the Latin-kissed “Morning Samba” and “Mojave,” the mid-tempo light and irresistible touch of “Chemistry,” the casual stroll and settling ambience of “Blue Horizon,” the up-and-at-‘em brightness of “At First Sight,” the cozy yet snappy “Irresistible” (which lives up to its title), the head-boppin’, melodic, and funky “Gotta Get To You,” the saucy swag of “Speechless,” and the rather pensive finale “The Rainbow.”

All in all, this is another killer Simpson album presented with authority, grace, and immense skill. Knowing full well the delicate dance between phrasing, melody, balance, and the intangible element of full-bodied groove, Simpson remains at the very top of his game. In the hands of this adept artist, contemporary jazz will remain a formidable force in music for years to come. No disappointments here! – Ronald Jackson