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Greg Adams & East Bay Soul — Conversation

Oct. 31, 2018

Trumpeter/composer/producer Greg Adams explodes on the scene again with his East Bay Soul band, delivering a refreshing, diverse set of grooves designed to appeal to the cool in you. With that slick, easy, melodic strut that has become the band’s signature, the new album Conversation is very much in fact a stirring conversation between the music and your soul.

Along with Adams, the smooth comes courtesy of saxman Greg Vail, bassist Dwayne “Smitty” Smith, guitarist Kay-Ta, vocalist Darryl Walker, and other fine contributors.

The mix of vibes and feels is so comfy and suave, delivering satisfaction from one track to the next. There’s the cool stride of the light, up-tempo lead track “Look Book,” the gentle yet sassy and jazzy title track, the satiny, mid-tempo “Quiet Scream” (interesting title for this track) featuring the silky vocals of Darryl Walker, the catchy, horn-tight jazzer “Tiger Beat,” the surprisingly funky “Spanish Moon” (from the title, I was actually expecting a salsa or something of the sort), the equally funk-heavy “Possibilities,” and several other ear-pleasers.

Adams’ trumpet lead on many of these tracks is both seductive and commanding. He’s definitely one of the truest stalwarts of c-jazz trumpet and flugelhorn.

The music here is – as is always the case with this band – effective, rich, and in many ways presented in an unhurried just-take-your-time-and-enjoy-the-groove manner. It walks with you, dances with you, and provides you with fresh, new musical moments. It’s an album that offers plenty of stimuli for a great musical conversation. Sit down with it and listen to what it has to say. – Ronald Jackson