Greg Adams | Cool To The Touch

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Cool To The Touch

by Greg Adams

With his fourth solo disc, cool to the touch, Adams captures magic on nine original tracks. crafted by greg’s art of “lyrics without words,” his trumpet-driven melodies merge the sound of jazz, funk grooves, sophisticated riffs, sexy soul and latin vibe.
Genre: Jazz: Soul-Jazz
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1. Felix the Cat
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2. It's Only Love, Love
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3:53 $0.99
3. One Night in Rio
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4. Life in the Key of Blue
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5. Cool to the Touch
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3:41 $0.99
6. Hi-fi
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3:46 $0.99
7. Hermosa
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8. If I Ever Lose My Faith in You
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4:36 $0.99
9. Bongo Baby
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10. When the Party's Over
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Cool To The Touch Bio

Greg Adams’ career has included success as an arranger, composer, conductor, and performer and earned him both Grammy and Emmy nominations and an International Broadcasting Award from The Hollywood Radio and Television Society. It has been a musical travelogue that has spanned nearly four decades, taking him on worldwide tours and contributing to some of the most important recordings in pop culture.

The journey continues with the ambitious release of Cool To The Touch. Enjoy the ride that will take you down a path of unforgettable melodies infused in a mix of jazz, pop and funk powered by Greg’s soulful trumpet.

While the music is pure 2006, its track titles conjure up the independence and hipness of the 60s jazz lifestyle. That inspiration carries throughout the album taking you on a cool musical sojourn that is both melodic and energetic

His 1995 solo debut Hidden Agenda went all the way to #1 for five weeks at the top of the Smooth Jazz charts, fueled by Adams sublime muted trumpet and a smoldering remake of Sade’s ” Smooth Operator.” The album received wide critical acclaim and established him as a major architect of the emerging “smooth jazz” sound. Greg took a break from his session schedule and released the much anticipated 2002 follow-up album Midnight Morning generating two top ten singles, “ Roadhouse” and "Sup with That.” Adams’ third solo project FireFly, released in 2004, was among the top 100 honored at NAC radio in 2005.

Legendary for the horn arrangements that created the signature sound and have made Tower of Power one of the most enduring musical entities today, Adams is a founding member of Tower of Power recording fourteen albums with the group on four major labels and millions in record sales. Greg has arranged for, performed and recorded with countless artists as diverse as his career, including The Eurythmics, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Lyle Lovett, Phish, Linda Ronstadt, Luther Vandross, Little Feat, Aaron Neville, Santana, Everclear, Smashmouth Huey Lewis and the News, Wilson Pickett, Heart, Josh Groban, Madonna and The Rolling Stones to name just a few.

With his fourth solo disc, Cool To The Touch, Adams captures magic on nine original tracks and a classic remake in tribute to Sting’s smash hit “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You.” He teams again with songwriter James Wirrick who has collaborated with Greg as songwriting partner and co-producer since Hidden Agenda. On this new record, the two co-wrote four of the new tracks. Greg taps two Tower of Power alumni to contribute to the writing process, Nick Milo and Carmen Grillo. Current band mate Joey Navarro rounds out the team. Then Greg stacks the deck with some lifelong famous friends, groundbreaking jazz artists and the crème of the crop L.A. session players to bring together the fun and organic spirit of the album.

From the downbeat of the opening track, “Felix The Cat,” the listener is immediately propelled into a harmonious retreat that is funk-driven by a super sax section that includes Mindi Abair, Johnnie Bamont, Richard Elliot, Boney James, and Eric Marienthal.

“Life In The Key Of Blue” pairs Greg with legendary saxophonist Tom Scott
in a duet that jams with intense R&B rhythm. While “Bongo Baby”
is just pure fun, the Latin percussion laden track will make you instantly think beach party and midriff tops mixed with a little tequila. The title track,
“Cool To The Touch,” showcases Adams’ signature horn section sound and features a rhythm section with some of the coolest cats in town, Vinnie Coliauta, Lee Sklar and Paul Jackson Jr.

Crafted by Greg’s art of “lyrics without words,” his trumpet-driven melodies merge the sound of jazz, funk grooves, sophisticated riffs, sexy soul and Latin vibes in a blend that is all so cool!


Reviews


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skimmer43


I love Greg Adams, I really do. I have his first three albums, but enough is enough. Three strikes you're out. Is it just me? I am tired of muted trumpet after muted trumpet. Pull out the mute and BLOW! I know he can let loose, I've listened to T.O.P. since they started. Perhaps it was Mic Gillette all those years that was doing all the blowing. Oh but that's right, he can't, it won't get played on the smooth jazz stations, what a shame.

Denis Poole

Yes, The Very Best!
September 23, 2006

GREG ADAMS - COOL TO THE TOUCH

The musical arrangements that trumpeter Greg Adams has created for Rod Stewart, Elton John, and Linda Ronstadt to name only a few has made him one of the ultimate musicians’ musicians. Indeed everyone from the Rolling Stones to Paul Schaffer to Madonna has called on him to contribute to their projects and, in addition, Greg’s hallmark ensemble sound has made the concept of the horn section an American treasure. Despite all that, and the huge credentials gained as founding member of the evergreen Tower of Power (ToP), it took until 1995 and his solo debut album Hidden Agenda for him to be become as well recognized outside the recording studio as he was within it. The album rocketed to number one on the smooth jazz charts and his second CD, Midnight Morning, evoked memories of the legendary arrangements he created during his many years with Tower Of Power. The critically acclaimed Firefly followed in 2004. Now he is back with a brand new release Cool To The Touch.

More evidence of those Adams hallmark arrangements is there as early as the very first track, the foot tapping ‘Felix The Cat’. With a horn section from heaven that comprises ToP old boy Richard Elliot, Boney James, Eric Marienthal, Johnnie Bamont and Mindi Abair it’s just not possible to have too much of a good thing. The sound brings thoughts of Tower Of Power flooding back and the way the horns combine with the icy sophistication of Adams playing makes this is top notch contemporary jazz and then some. ‘One Night In Rio’ barely needs an introduction as, doing exactly what its title says, Adams flowing trumpet conjures up images of busy neon lit streets and steamy dark alleys. Equally Latin infused is ‘Bongo Baby’. Co-written by Adams and former Tower of Power guitar player Carmen Grillo it’s simply laden with Latin percussion. The ‘A Team’ horn section on duty for ‘Felix The Cat’ is back; this time joined by Paul Jackson Jr. on guitar, for the smoky crawler of a title track that Adams makes both hot (and cool) to the touch and another typically edgy Adams melody can be found on ‘Hermosa’, co-written with Joey Navarro.

Greg gets seriously funky with ‘Life In The Key Of Blue’. Johnny Sandoval’s percussion lights this one up, Paul Jackson Jr. plays a part, ex ToP regular Nick Milo is on keyboards and the great Tom Scott on sax produces interplay with Adams that is out of this world. Much more melodic yet tight and pleasing is the handsome mid tempo ‘It’s Only Love, Love’ while tight is again the operative word for ‘Hi-Fi’. This little mover is a joy to the ears and ideal therapy for a slow and difficult commute home. Adams pays his respects to Sting with his smoky interpretation of the hit ‘If I Ever Lose My Faith In You’ and, in an album as groove driven as this, ‘When The Party’s Over’ is the calm oasis in a sea of funk. Spellbinding and beautiful it is an absolutely wonderful track.

Greg Adams has the ability to bring together everything that is good in contemporary jazz. Cool To The Touch is a great example of his art and a CD well worth looking out for. Go to www.gregadamsmusic.com for more on the man and his music.
~ Denis Poole

Dave McIntyre

Great Cd. It shall be a classic.
I heard only one track on the CD and decided to purchase. No regrets, all tracks are great.

Shannon West


Greg Adams is a contemporary jazz survivor. He spent 25 years with Tower of Power creating those legendary horn arrangements and performing with some of the biggest names in popular music from the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, and Elton John to Phish, Smash Mouth, and Everclear. When he stepped into his solo career in 1995 with Hidden Agenda, it was an immediate success. There was a catch though. The record company was about to bail out on their jazz department. It took seven years for the follow-up to be released, but Midnight Morning was worth the wait. It was another diverse package of captivating songs that included the horn-driven hit, "Roadhouse." Firefly followed on yet another label and showcased some of the finest instrumental songwriting out there, but due to lack of publicity and promotion it didn't reach the audience to the extent that it should have. With that in mind, Adams made a resolution on New Years Day 2006. His next CD would come out on his own label, giving it a support system of people who were passionate about the music that was on it. That CD, Cool To The Touch, was just released and there is a lot in these grooves to be passionate about.

Thematically, the vibe is retro and the cover emulates the black and blue toned austerity of those classic mid-20th century jazz albums. While the titles are in the same vein, the music is anything but retro. There are some tones and shadings from other eras, but these songs are state-of-the-art contemporary jazz. Cool To The Touch features guest shots from some smooth jazz heavy hitters - Mindi Abair, Richard Elliot, Eric Marienthal, Boney James, Tom Scott, and Paul Jackson Jr. - as well as band mate/long time collaborator, James Wirrick, and TOP alumni Nick Milo and Carmen Grillo. Adams' songwriting gives them a framework to really show their stuff.

The first notes of "Felix The Cat" set the stage. It's horn section heaven with Abair, Elliot, Marienthal, James, and Johnnie Bamont working a funk infused Adams composition. By the middle of the song, five sax players are trading solos then kicking back into the intro riff that weaves around Adams' muted trumpet. "One Night In Rio" has ambient/mystical shadings that recall "Burma Road," one of Hidden Agenda's most popular songs. "Life in the Key of Blue" is the showpiece of the album. It's one of the most ambitious, edgy and progressive songs to surface on a genre CD in years. An intensely rhythmic Miles-influenced bluesy fusion romp that has Adams and Tom Scott playing wild and loose with Jackson Jr. throwing in some tasty guitar and a raunchy horn section blaring in the background. Hearing it will remind you of what a big empty space was left when funk, fusion and contemporary flavors were phased out of the genre. It just feels good! The title track is dense, melodic and horn-drenched. "Hi-Fi" is as cool and subdued as the title suggests. "Bongo Baby" is pure fun with its intentional tip of the hat to those early Herb Alpert/Tijuana Brass songs and bongo-bass breakdowns. As he did on Firefly, Adams wraps up the set with an elegant, lushly orchestrated ballad, "When The Party's Over." This is music for a slow dance and the prefect ending for this joyride through funk, fusion, jazzed up, smooth, ambient and the ultra-cool that is Cool To The Touch.

- Shannon West


Ted Hasiuk
Greg Adams - Cool to the Touch
Reviewed August 10th, 2006
Over the course of a nearly four decade career, Greg Adams' contributions have been integral to the ever changing pop music landscape. His many successes as an arranger, composer, and performer stand out as signposts in a journey that began in Oakland CA back in the early 70s and which have taken Greg around the world several times over. All the while his legendary status grew, to the point where Adams' name has assumed iconic dimensions.

Straight out of high school and in lieu of attending Boston's prestigious Berklee College of Music, Adams joined Tower of Power as a founding member. During his tenure, Adams was a guiding force for the band which sold millions of albums and whose signature horn arrangements set the standard in the realm of R&B. One might be hard pressed to find any child of this era who hadn't at one time or another bopped to the sounds of America's premier funk ensemble.




Grammy and Emmy nominated, Adams has recorded and/or performed with many of the biggest names in the business; among them Santana, Luther Vandross, and The Eurythmics, as well as B.B. King, Rod Stewart, & Elton John. Nevertheless, after 25 years with the band and countless sessions, Greg felt the need for a new creative outlet which he found in his 1995 solo debut. Fuelled by a steamy cover of Smooth Operator, Hidden Agenda went to straight to #1 for five full weeks. Subsequent releases have also faired well and so it's all this that Adams now brings to the studio.

With Cool to the Touch, Greg's fourth and latest release, the veteran horn player once again captures the sort of magic that has epitomized his career, yet the overall vibe is very much a reflection of the present. Several selections flat out rank among Greg's finest efforts ever. For example, take Felix the Cat, the album opener and the latest single to radio. Powered by an unparalleled sax section that includes Richard Elliot, Boney James, Eric Marienthal, and Mindi Abair, it's melodic, funky, and smooth, and a hit just waiting to happen!

On Cool To The Touch, Adams has successfully navigated the tricky waters between accessibility and hipness. Life in the Key of Blue featuring Tom Scott explores some intense avenues while One Night in Rio is generously seasoned with the samba styling of Brazil. The Latin-flavored sophistication of Bongo Baby too is a delight! And not to be overlooked are the efforts of James Wirrick, with whom Greg first teamed on Hidden Agenda. Messrs Adams and Wirrick share a unique creative compatibility and this latest project bears the fruit of their most recent collaborations.



In a nutshell, Cool To The Touch may well represent Adams' finest overall effort to date, no mean feat given this man's string of past accomplishments. The album is a gem wherein integrity and imagination are uniquely combined. Yet the project is packed with warmth, energy, and vibrance. The result, a musical vehicle that transcends. Needless to say, Cool To The Touch positively reaffirms Greg Adams' voice as vital to the contemporary scene.

CD: Cool to the Touch (2006)
Label: Ripa Records
Site: Greg Adams Music ; Ripa
Artist Page: Greg Adams

Al Carlos Hernandez


Cool to the Touch

Smooth jazz from Greg Adams

By Al Carlos Hernandez


The Roget’s II Thesaurus defines the word “Cool” as: Noun: Slang. A stable, calm state of the emotions: aplomb, balance, collectedness, composure, coolness, equanimity, imperturbability, imperturbableness, nonchalance, poise, sang-froid, self-possession, unflappability.

Cool to the Touch, is trumpet master Greg Adams latest smooth jazz joint on his own label Ripa Records. The CD is all that is listed above and more. It is said that all art aspires to the level of music. Jazz is no doubt one of Americas most pervasive art forms. This one does the west coast LA-slick hipsters proud and suitable for framing.

Adams has been doing serious music for four decades, his name around musicians iconic. Straight out of High School he attended Boston’s Beklee College of music, until he received a call from Oakland’s Tower of Power then the paradigm of R&B/Funk music would be bent, popped, scooped and emulsified forever.

He has recorded and performed with the biggest names in the business, many of whom regard Greg as a big name himself; Santana, Elton John, Luther Vandross, Rod Stewart just to name a few. Cool, is his fourth solo venture. Powered by a soulful cover of Smooth Operator, his first solo album Hidden Agenda went to # 1, for well over month, his other 2 efforts faired well but pained with lack of major label support, didn’t get the air play it deserved.

Using “Cool to the Touch” as the vehicle, his lead horn and assemblage of major jazz sidemen, Greg takes you on a lyrical drop top BMW-all-the bills- are-paid road trip down the coast, fueled by the colors of sound saturated in viceral vibe opinion and emotion. The mood the music inspires somehow makes you feel hipper than you are and takes you where you need to be.

Suffice to say this is music for Grown Folks, urbane hipsters who reject the convention of cereal pop formulaic music, and have earned the finer things in life, like a vintage bottle of wine on a platinum card.

Embroidering a intricate tapestry of melodic horn arrangements, while the rhythm section holds it down, while holding it’s own, homogeneous, in radio friendly delivery, the lead cut, Felix the Cat is a staple and must for any MOR/Jazz playlist.

Speaking of renowned Cats, Richard Elliot, Boney James, Tom Scott came to blow on the session, which were filled out with the likes of Paul Jackson Jr., Nick Milo, Carmen Grillo, Joey Navarro, and Johnny Sandoval, helping the Cool- Cat lay it down in lacy layers.

As an Urban Euro Sport Drop top Driving Latino, I’m particularly impressed with the Samba styled cut, One Night in Rio, and the authentic Latin penned Bongo Baby. This CD is a must for your MP3, or your auto CD collection. Blasting Cool out of your windows at city stop lights, may make you appear to be on salary, flossing a serious expense account.

The CD is peppered with Adams signature horn clips and rides reminiscent of his earlier work, but lets the riffs glide and breathe into full statements. It rounds out to be sophisticated R&B smacked Jazz, suitable for dancing.

Cool to the touch is the kind of CD that is a keeper for your personal music stash, and a very hip gift to give to someone to show them that you have arrived.

Check out Greg at www.gregadamsmusic.com or www.riparecords.com.

Smoothjazz.com

Impeccable!
I think we know who we're dealing with on this new album, COOL TO THE TOUCH. It's none other than legendary horn man, the übersmooth Greg Adams...you know, the guy whose horn arrangements created Tower of Power's signature sound, the guy who, in addition to 14 albums as a founding member of T.O.P., has worked with the likes of Rod Stewart, The Eurythmics, Lyle Lovett, Luther Vandross, and Santana to name a handful, plus has just released his fourth solo project. In short Greg Adams's credentials = impeccable. Just as you'd expect, this aptly titled new release is simply outstanding. Radio has already embraced the very cool cover of Sting's "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" and now is all over "Felix the Cat," the funk-driven second single, featuring a super sax section that includes Mindi Abair, Richard Elliot, Boney James, and Eric Marienthal! These singles are only the beginning for what is a deep album of stellar tracks featuring the unmistakably delicious Greg Adams muted trumpet. Other "best of the best" highlights include a jamming R&B duet with Tom Scott on "Life in the Key of Blue," the fun Latin romp, "Bongo Baby," and the title track, showcasing the Adams signature horn section and a superstar rhythm section (Coliauta, Sklar, Jackson, Jr.). All I can say at this point, is that once you get a taste of COOL TO THE TOUCH, you'll be saying very simply, "I want that!"~ SCOTT O'BRIEN

Kerry Bruce

Relaxation City
Recently saw Greg with his new band East Bay Soul and he did a lot of this CD in concert. I think this CD is outstanding. My particular favorite is One Night in Rio. I can't get it out of my head. I find my self humming it often. The rest of the CD is very enjoyable. Well worth the bucks.

Sheila


I am a fan of Greg Adams and this album is as good as his others! Marvelous! The last number, When the Party's Over, is like a long and lingering kiss between lovers! Enjoy....I am.

Sheila


I am a fan of Greg Adams and this album is as good as his others! Marvelous! The last number, When the Party's Over, is like a long and lingering kiss between lovers! Enjoy....I am.
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