GUITAR WORLD -
"Awakening combines the adventurous harmonies of Steely Dan with the smooth-jazz silkiness of Al Jarreau into a compelling groove that pushes the boundaries of adult-contemporary radio." Joe Lalaina ©2003
SPYRO GYRA'S - Julio Fernandez
"... great production, good material, and inspired playing - I love it!"
SPYRO GYRA'S - Joel Rosenblatt
"... some great performances ... an enjoyable listen for sure! Paul really seems to have a knack for putting the right combination of players together!! I look forward to the next recording!!"
JEFF PEVAR - CPR (David Crosby, Pevar, James Raymond)
"... a wonderful combination of lyrical and melodic compositions featuring a plethora of NYC's finest players. A must for any jazz and pop enthusiast."
Take a blender, add a couple of scoops of Brazilian, a couple of scoops of Latin, a couple of scoops of funky Jazz, blend it for a while, then add several heaping scoops of "taste", and you'll have a good dose of what this CD is all about. Featuring a who's who of contemporary jazz and world artists - including Jeff Golub, Mark Whitfield, Gabriela Anders, Mark Soskin, and Café - this CD simply delivers an amazing mix of music.
The CD begins with an hip, latin rendition of the Beatles song, Norwegian Wood. Gabriela Anders takes the tune to a whole new place, with her signature sultry and silky smooth interpretation. Cinderella follows, featuring a monstrous horn section led by Sting trombonist, Clark Gayton, as well as James Zollar of the Ellington Band, and Stevie Wonder sax man, Denny Morouse. It ends with some Mark Whitfield guitar magic. New Morning Mambo is the most driving song on the CD. Jeff Golub (former Rod Stewart guitarist of 8 years) takes off on a slamming display of untouchable playing. Aaron Heick adds some sweet, sexy alto to the mix and throughout, Paul is tearing it up on the drums, with a very funky, syncopated groove. Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar features Mark Lambert singing a captivating interpretation of the Jobim love song, with some great piano playing by Vana Gierig. Visions of Brazil is simply a magical song and a magical performance. Gabriela Anders singing blends in perfectly, and her vamp is mesmerizing. Till the Cops Come Knockin' shows some more of Jeff Golub's and Vana Gierig's mastery. (All Jeff Golub fans: buy this CD.) Mambo Mio flirts back and forth from songo to samba, with Gabriela scatting over the melody, before the tune breaks into a powerful montuno with a tasteful drum solo by Paul. Butterfly takes the Herbie Hancock standard to mambo ville. Little Sunflower lilts between a west African 12/8 and a driving songo. Denny Morouse has a masterful tenor sax solo over the tune, often in unison with Soskin's inventive piano phrases. Enchantment is a sensual outro featuring a soothing conga backbeat by the Brazilian master, Café.
All in all, a great CD, destined to remain in your CD player for a long, long time.