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Rod Tate – Sunshine & Lemonade

Feb. 24, 2019

Veteran indie saxman Rod Tate has been a satisfying force in jazz for about two decades now, finding a home in c–jazz, R&B, and gospel to the delight of so many. Here with his latest release Sunshine & Lemonade, the artist offers velvety smooth melodies and rhythms and incorporates a bit of that bossa nova touch as he embraces eclecticism in a way that only one with a diverse background and a real handle on the genre can embrace it.

From the catchy lead track “Sea Breeze” to exotically jazzy tracks like “Bossa De Amor,” “It’s All Good,” and “Revived” with their island rhythms – some subtle, some not so subtle–to romantic, whispery sweet tunes like “St. Louis Nights” and the soulful “Until Next Time” to the finger-poppin’, head-boppin’ “Road Trip” and “Cool With Me,” Tate provides all you want in a jazz environment, touching on all of the savory elements that make jazz what it is today.

Having penned and recorded all of the music personally, as well as playing all of the instruments, this one-man production is truly impressive.

Tate says that the inspiration for the album and its title is his older brother Terrell who, after a life of moving quickly in the fast lane, now chills on his deck in the warm sunshine, watching his bird feeder and drinking a cold glass of lemonade. Ah, life in all its true carefree sweetness.

The album certainly reflects an air of sunshine and relaxation, as Tate’s tenor and soprano saxes set the mood on each track so effectively. In the true tradition of c-jazz with class, this one calls out to you to grab a listen and experience the groove from within. – Ronald Jackson