Player A | Our Own Devices

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Smooth Jazz Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Our Own Devices

by Player A

Smooth, contemporary jazz by some of the top session players in Nashville, TN.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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1. Sleekness (feat. Marcus Anderson)
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3:58 $0.99
2. Staying Alive
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3:36 $0.99
3. The Deepest Love
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4:07 $0.99
4. Coming On
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4:20 $0.99
5. Our Own Devices
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4:59 $0.99
6. Steppin'
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3:46 $0.99
7. One Step Forward, One Step Backward
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4:28 $0.99
8. Talk About It
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4:13 $0.99
9. (Hate to Say) I Told You So
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4:31 $0.99
10. Windy
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3:13 $0.99
11. Chiller
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3:35 $0.99
12. A Fitting End
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2:59 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Player A is a new contemporary jazz group that features some of the top studio session players in the Nashville, TN area. Certainly known for it's country & gospel music industries, music publishing, and famed Music Row, Nashville also boasts the last bastion of consistent studio work for quality players, as well as some SERIOUS jazz talent.

Now on this new release, Player A celebrates the magic world of the process of recording, with "Our Own Devices". From the blistering opening tune, "Sleekness", which features smooth sax man Marcus Anderson, you know this is something special. Next up, Player A gives you a unique and funky version of the Bee Gee's hit "Staying Alive". Then we slow down the groove and treat you to a laid back beat, and some smooth piano and guitar with "The Deepest Love".

Next up is the first national smooth jazz single from Player A, "Coming On". This is led by Nashville veteran sax man Sam Levine. World class jazz fusion guitarist Tom Hemby takes over the title song "Our Own Devices", which has a deep Joe Sample vibe. Then bassist Gary Lunn slaps and funks up "Steppin", a toe tapping c-jazz classic jam with a monster bass solo section.

All the players contribute to "One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward", a David Benoit like piece that is grand in scope, and also recalls Dave Grusin. Then we go coastal for the Caribbean inspired "Talk About It", featuring the guitar of Mark Baldwin. And the groove heats up again with "(Hate to Say) I Told You So", with a sure fire smooth jazz beat, and some funky guitars and keys.

Think you remember the 70's song "Windy"? Listening to Player A's version, you may not be sure. It starts out Nintendo, then goes calliope, and ends up as a fusion inspired wild ride. The uptempo "Chiller" is next with Player A driving right down the smooth jazz parkway, with strong solos and leads by all members, including a blistering solo by bassist Gary Lunn. Then Lunn and producer/keyboardist end the album with the soothing bass/electric piano duet of "A Fitting End".


Reviews


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Trina Johnson

Player A Review
Now this is a Jazz cd! This CD makes me want to jump in a car and take a drive down California’s coast line. No unnecessary words to complicate things. The instruments do all the necessary talking. Love the smooth and calm feel. No need to hurry, just sit down and chill for a while.

Neville

Wonderful production
I have found this album a joy to listen to. The Deepest Love track shows the professional quality of the production. I hear Eric Copeland's style come through in a number of tracks. I have played a number of the tracks on our Christian radio's jazz program.

Smooth Jazz Thereapy

Immense Artistry
Producer and keyboard player Eric Copeland has brought together the very best of Nashville's session musicians for his brainchild excursion into contemporary jazz that he has simply named Player A. In fact the genre is far from being new to this talented collective who also serve as a production team for other jazz artists including Creative Soul Jazz label mate Drew Davidsen. The latest CD from Player A is titled ‘Our Own Devices’ and comprises ten of Copeland’s own compositions plus two well crafted covers. It’s an eclectic body of work that shows off the immense artistry of those involved and in so doing provides several truly outstanding tunes.

‘Our Own Devices’ is quickly up and running with the hard driving ‘Sleekness’ which features sax from Marcus Anderson and, although ‘Talk About It’ has something of an Acoustic Alchemy feel about it, ‘One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward’ proves to be an expansive musical extravaganza that is underpinned by fine orchestral elements.

In terms of cover versions, Copeland’s retro tinged keys are integral to the bands ultra funky take on the Bee Gee’s ‘Staying Alive’ and their edgy version of the Ruthann Friedman composition ‘Windy’ makes this familiar song sound brand new.

Elsewhere the title cut is a moody piece that serves as an excellent showcase for the combined skills of Copeland and guitarist Tom Hemby while ‘Chiller’ is another intensely funky number for which Mark Baldwin on guitar, Gary Lunn on bass and Copeland all play a part. Mark Baldwin is again in splendid form for the inviting vibe of ‘(Hate To Say) I Told Ya So’ while in terms of personal favorites both the easy grooving ‘The Deepest Love’ and ‘Steppin’ (which features nice keys from Copeland and storming bass from Lunn) are right up there. However, best of all is the pleasingly mid tempo ‘Coming On’. The first track to be serviced to radio it features sax from Sam Levine and is sure to do well.

The appropriately titled ‘A Fitting End’ provides a mellow conclusion to ‘Our Own Devices’ and affords Gary Lunn on fretless bass one more chance to shine. It is a reminder, if in fact is one needed, that Nashville is not only one of the last bastions of consistent studio work for quality players but is also home to some serious jazz talent. - Denis Poole

Jon Ricson

Let's hope THIS is the future of contemporary jazz!
Another reviewer called it "An instrumental feast for the ears." I must agree.

This collection of Nashville session players has nailed the "smooth" jazz sound, but given the genre new life with real drums (that SOUND like real drums!), amazing bass work that is featured on more than a few songs, sterling guitar work both electric and acoustic, and the writing and keyboards of producer Eric Copeland. Copeland put this all together, taking time away from his busy production work for other artists around the US and the world (Drew Davidsen, Ashley Carpenter, Jessie Laine Powell).

The result is a mix of songs and grooves you do not want to miss. Sure, there are some strange choices, like a really "original" take on the old 70's song "Windy" (although this one is alot more fun!). Also, the Bee Gees "Staying Alive" gets a smooth, funky clav-led treatment. But the originals are where this album really shines.

The current single (which peaked in the Billboard Smooth Jazz Top 30) is "Coming On" and it certainly fits the format, with hooky sax and driving beat. But songs like "The Deepest Love", with it's beautiful piano and guitar leads intertwining, and the title cut "Our Own Devices", a mysterious but hypnotic groove featuring the stellar work of guitarist Tom Hemby - this is where this collection gets cooking.

You can't talk about Player A without mentioning the solo bass work by Gary Lunn. This staple talent in Nashville may not be world renowned, but he soon will be through his work here. Just great work on songs like "Chiller" and "Steppin". But the real emotion comes last on the closing, moving piece "A Fitting End". And it certainly is with just solo bass and electric piano.

We should leave these guys to their own devices more often. Can't wait to see what comes next. - Jon Ricson (NowThisisJazz.com)