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Nils — Play

Mar. 1, 2018

Nimble-fingered smooth jazz guitarist Nils has been so busy with a ton of productions and compositions for other artists that it’s hard to imagine that he’d have time to focus on and crank out a new release of his own, especially in under three years’ time. Well, he’s done it, and it’s top-tier quality…again. The masterful artist/composer/producer now struts out Play, a solid collection of originals with a couple of covers tossed in for good measure.

With his foot-tappin’, finger-snappin’ rockin’, bluesy, soulful, jazzy blend, the guitarist lays out some grooves that are not only infectious and attractive but deep-hitting.

Play finds guest artists bassists Darryl Williams and Roberto Vally, keyboardist Philippe Saisse, pianist Gail Jhonson, vocalists Johnny Britt, Eddie Brown, and Clydene Jackson, and many others who came to party with the guitarist. To say they added a major shine to the project is an understatement.

Brilliance shines throughout this album, with Nils showing just why he is in fact such a hot commodity in the studios of c-jazz. There are high-steppin’ sparkling tracks like the funky lead track “Coast to Coast” and the high-spirited “Off to the Races” and “So Get On Up” pairing up with slick, feel-good jams like “We Got Love, the title track, and “California.” Then, there are the deep, sensuous, bluesy beauties like “Sway,” “Goldfinger” (an exercise in real guitar talk), the captivating cover of Wham’s “Careless Whisper,” and other catchy charmers here.

Whether pouring it on as thick as steak sauce or finessing it with a light touch, Nils proves here that he’s still the man with the golden touch. This album could well be his best to date, in my opinion. – Ronald Jackson