Jazmin Ghent – The Story of Jaz

Oct. 31, 2018

The Story of Jaz, the cleverly titled new release from the lovely young saxtress with the killer smile, Jazmin Ghent, is another project full of sunshine, crisp grooves, and the kind of meat-on-the-bone c-jazz that gets the “engine” of most jazzers revved up in a hurry.

The album not only takes one on an eclectic musical voyage that clearly displays this young lady’s command of the genre, but it also literally chronicles that voyage on the inside cover of the CD. “Impressive” is an adjective that does very little to describe where she’s been, what she’s learned, and — most likely — where she’s headed.

Penning all but two of the tracks here, Ghent pours her all into every note on every track, seeking to coax you along happily for the ride. To add to her sax work, the saxtress offers us her sexy, smooth vocals as icing on the cake on the comely tracks “Love Is” and “Self Love.”

The “storytelling” is helped along by such luminaries as master keyboardists/producers/composers Jeff Lorber, James Lloyd, and Philippe Saisse (the latter offering his skill on marimba and vibes) and flutist Kim Scott, among others. The project was mixed by sax giant Euge Groove at his Groove House.

The lead track “Funk Junk” is a smoking demonstration of how Ghent can take you to the land of the nitty gritty down and dirty funk. A bit of an outlier to the rest of the album, which offers various levels of classy, sophisticated jazz/R&B (including a stirringly beautiful and soulful cover of the late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”) , it offers the diversity that makes this such a well-rounded album.

From my first glimpse of her years ago aboard The Smooth Jazz Cruise as the winner of the amateur jazz artists contest, I knew this journey would be a fruitful one for Jazmin Ghent, and was I ever right. I strongly believe that we are only at the beginning of a journey that will continue for many a year. – Ronald Jackson