"Straight-up, straight ahead jazz..." - All About Jazz - Titled “En Route,” the recording features pianist Bo Ayars, tenor sax/multi-instrumentalist Sam Solano, bassist Robert Stragnell and drummer Matt Farina. An appearance by special guest Ollie McClay adds a memorable bonus track to the mix with his dynamic rendition of Georgia On My Mind, the album’s sole vocal tune. The album combines excellent musicians with some of choice compositions by the likes of Ben Webster, Blue Mitchell, and Gene Ammons. The compact disc also debuts two originals: Blues for Mandy and Emily’s Dance, which may well be the strongest pieces of the session. Landing somewhere in between pop and mainstream jazz, the music is accessible and transmits the joy of the music.
All About Jazz reviewer Dan Bilawsky says ""Portland-based guitarist Jonathan Smith spent three decades putting out fires, but he lets things burn on "En Route." (October 2011)
En route is truly a remarkable outing and shows a guitarist defining and refining his musical personality.