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Jazmin Ghent – Chocolate Sunshine

Sept. 11, 2016

The lovely young saxtress who captured our collective smooth jazz hearts a couple or so years back and grabbed the award for best performer in the Smooth Jazz Cruise’s Amateur Artist contest, Jazmin Ghent, is back with another delightful group of compositions jazmin-ghent-choc-cdmeant for the heart and soul (and a few dancing feet, as well). The album, appropriately entitled Chocolate Sunshine, further cements the young lady’s place in the future of smooth jazz.

With keyboardist/composer Jonathan Fritzen, bassist Julian Vaughn, guitarist Adam Hawley, and saxman Nelson Rangell lending their helping hands and talents to the project, Ghent starts off already in great shape.

Her sax and compositional skills are already widely respected, and the material here is worthy of yet another series of stop-and-listen moments. The title track, written by Fritzen, is as much a statement of who this bright young talent is and what she embodies as it is about the radiance of the music itself.

One of the “magical” assets that Ghent possesses is the ease with which she commands the musical scale and interjects her very essence into each note, making her heavily jazz-infused/R&B music sound so very sophisticated and well-measured. Cases in point are, in addition to the title track, the flawlessly fluid “Thumpin’,” the great cover of Adele’s “Hello,” and the fancy and lilting “Good Morning Monday” (titled like a true optimist). Now, if the dance is what you came for, get with “Get There,” a bouncer with mucho pizzazz. Finally, I doubt that anyone in a pensive mood – or in a romantic mental place, for that matter — could resist the call to “Walk With Me” as Ghent’s finale beckons one to do.

Yes, once again, this young lady proves that she is where she should be in the circle of smooth jazz artists, and I’ve no doubt that she will make her presence even more prominent as time goes on and experience bestows upon her one revelation jewel after another. A+ effort for sure. – Ronald Jackson