WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE! * WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE! * WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE!

Tony Craddock, Jr. & Cold Front – H2O

Mar. 7, 2018

Saxophonist Tony Craddock, Jr. and his band Cold Front have been providing live quality smooth jazz for the Washington, DC area for quite awhile now. Now issuing his latest recorded release H2O, he delves a bit deeper into his light and airy jazz repertoire to offer more new and classy tracks along with interesting and impressive covers.

Craddock’s style is not of the in-your-face variety but rather of a soothing, caressing, and gentle approach. Here, he offers a subtle touch of eclecticism with tracks like the light, samba-kissed “Irony,” the easy “Living Water” featuring guitarist Ken Navarro, and a very creative cover of “Amazing Grace” featuring the iconic Kirk Whalum and a clever jazz/blues twist to the classic spiritual. Another smart interpretation is that of “Can You Stand the Rain,” and an inspiring up-tempo “Sunrise” featuring the strong, attractive vocals of Ashli Rice.

Craddock is one of the few remaining “smooth” jazz artists who actually include the jazz root in their compositions. It’s quite clear here among his silky melodies and arrangements. There’s nothing flashy or super funky here, but there’s definitely an element of sophistication and a solid insight into the soul of the genre as a whole. You would do well to lend an ear to this quite unassuming artist who has a light, clean approach to the inclusive, wonderful genre we love so genuinely. – Ronald Jackson