James Saxsmo Gates | Gates Wide Open

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United States - Virginia

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Jazz: Smooth Jazz Jazz: Soul-Jazz Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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Gates Wide Open

by James Saxsmo Gates

Exciting, passionate, dynamic music from one of the best sax men in the country. This Berklee School of Music grad and Billy Taylor Professor of Jazz Studies at Virginia State University returns with 14 hot songs. With Fred Wesley, Walter Beasley and more
Genre: Jazz: Smooth Jazz
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. This Day Belongs to Me
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4:02 $1.29
2. Unbreakable
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6:24 $1.29
3. Detailed
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5:03 $1.29
4. Remember the Time
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5:03 $1.29
5. I Remember
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4:31 $1.29
6. Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing Baby
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3:41 $1.29
7. Hannah's Bag
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4:04 $1.29
8. Have I Told You Lately That I Love You
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5:09 $1.29
9. Ulterior Motive
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3:53 $1.29
10. The Hood
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3:28 $1.29
11. I Cry Out for You
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2:17 $1.29
12. Rebirth
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5:44 $1.29
13. Spain
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7:21 $1.29
14. Remember the Time - Reprise
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1:08 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The passionate search for perfection describes James Saxsmo Gates and his career as a top Jazz Musician. From his experiences performing with Art Blakey, Larry Carlton, Jeff Lorber, Alex Bugnon, Cyrus Chestnut, Chris Botti, Billy Kilson, Terrance Blanchard and many others, comes a smooth, yet blazing style and presentation. Gates Wide Open is the third commercial release for Saxsmo as a solo artist and is the beginning of a new era for Saxsmo. The journey to Gates Wide Open has been heartfelt and emotional. Saxsmo lost both of his parents between his first and second CD's, they were his inspiration to strive for perfection and to continue making excellent music. A positive major event in his life was receiving his Masters of Jazz Studies at North Carolina Central University (Magna Cum Laude), where he worked closely with Branford Marsalis and Dr. Ira Wiggins. With that behind him he is determined to show the world that James Saxsmo Gates is Wide Open and moving on up, making intensely emotive music that will gratify, entertain, inspire and move his fans, and the general listening public. To make this happen Saxsmo has called on the great trombonist Fred Wesley, sax man and Berklee Professor, Walter Beasley, smooth jazz guitarist and Berklee classmate, Freddie Fox and the 804 Jazz Allstars to help him take this CD to another level. The CD Gates Wide Open contains (14) fourteen exemplary selections, which are diverse in style, tempo, and timbre. One track, in particular, that deserves special mention is his outstanding and award winning arrangement of Chick Corea's "SPAIN", this was initially a graduate school project, similar to a thesis. However, it became much more when Saxsmo assembled an elite group of faculty members from NCCU and Virginia State University, professional musicians from Richmond, Virginia known as the 804 Jazz Allstars, the top graduate students from NCCU, and the great Fred Wesley to make this a phenomenal recording. You should immediately realize after listening to this blazing track that he received an A+ for this arrangement and recording, which is destined to turn heads and win awards. Another song that stands out is the cover of Michael Jackson's "UNBREAKABLE". produced and arranged by his former student and current Berklee College of Music standout, Brandon Lane. This track has as much magic as the original and is a sonic orgy of modern beats, outstanding guitar work by Freddie Fox and some serious Trombone performances by Brandon and his producer father Hannon D. Lane. One of the smoothest songs on the CD is "This Day Belongs To Me", a Grover Washington styled smooth jazz classic, with a classic groove and impeccable phrasing along with pristine improvisation. Given the right opportunity this track is destined for a high position on the smooth jazz charts. The track "Detailed" features Berklee Professor and former classmate, Walter Beasley. This song delivers a stellar performance by two of the most talented Alto Sax men in the country. Playing hip riffs together and trading fours, this is a song that has smooth jazz radio buzzing. Last but not least, the only vocal selection on the CD "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" features Carlton Blount (former Lead Singer for the Main Ingredient), his presence and soulful flow, along with the distinctive interpretation by Saxsmo makes this a soul jazz classic. The entire collection of songs on the CD Gates Wide Open should be considered a fine work of art. Diverse, complex, simple, intense and smooth, it's all there for the listener to enjoy from beginning to end. This CD - Gates Wide Open is just that, a vehicle to open the doors of world wide exposure and appreciation for one of the most talented sax players on the music scene.


Reviews


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Brian Soergel

SmoothJazz.com Review
Saxophonist James Saxsmo Gates is one of our new favorites in Smooth Jazz, and on his third album he’s blown it wide open with funky numbers, relaxing grooves and in-the-pocket rhythms aplenty! You may have seen Gates around as this gentleman and scholar (he has a master’s in jazz studies) has performed with luminaries like Art Blakey, Larry Carlton, Jeff Lorber, Alex Bugnon, Cyrus Chestnut, Chris Botti, Billy Kilson, Terrance Blanchard and more. Lending their expertise to the 14-track GATES WIDE OPEN are Smooth Jazz superstar sax man Walter Beasley, as well as guitarist Freddie Fox and trombonist Fred Wesley. With amazing originals and covers of classics like Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You,” Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time,” Marvin Gaye and Tami Terrell’s “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” and Chick Corea’s “Spain,” Gates has announced himself as one of the new, smoothest sax players in the world!

Peter S. Burg

This is one of his Very Best CD's and is World Class Music
I have all of his CD's and this is in my opinion the best. This album is more diverse and entertainging. The first song "This Day Belongs to Me" reminds me of Grover so much, it is REAL smooth jazz. The next song a Michael Jackson tune called "Unbreakable" is outstanding and real groovy. The trombone and guitar stand out in this song as much as the sax. There is another Michael Jackson tribute song on the CD called "Remember The Time" this is just as good as the first one, the music is fantastic. Another song that stands out among many great songs in the song "Have I Told You Lately" the singer is as soulful as they come, sounds like a motown or stax crooner from back in the day.. and this is a great song. There are so many nice songs on the CD I am having difficulty writing about how much I like this selection of songs. His version of SPAIN is different from the other songs and stands out because it is a big band song, not many so called Smooth Jazz musicians can pull that off.. so for the effort and music he gets 5 stars. Ultimately this CD is worth evert penny and will stay in my car and iphone for years to come... I would not at all be surprised if this CD becomes a best seller.. Get it!