Review is from Smooth Jazz Therapy: If there is one musician whose style typifies the sun soaked vibe synonymous with the city of San Diego it is guitarist Patrick Yandall. When in 2006 I reviewed his album ‘Samoa Soul’ I described him as having rhythm and melody pumping through every vein of his body and his 2008 follow-up ‘Laws Of Groovity’ provided further evidence of his distinct southern Californian groove. Now, with his latest project, ‘A New Day’, he has surpassed himself with a wonderful collection of eleven self penned tracks that is jam packed with some of the best contemporary jazz you will hear this year.
Yandall’s music engenders enormous enjoyment and the mid tempo magic of ‘Urban Flight’ is smooth jazz at its immaculate best. In this respect it is in the good company of the superb ‘If You Love Me’ and, whereas the sexy ‘Do You Feel’ allows Yandall to slip effortlessly into tranquil mode, ‘Pistons Stomp’ finds him firmly on funk enriched soil. It’s a tune that from melodic beginnings drives to a compelling crescendo while the tight and wholly ‘in the pocket’ ‘I Am There’ shimmers with excellent horns from Jeff Laasko and the Kickass (yes, that’s right, Kickass) Brass Section.
Yandall also takes time out to pay his respects to some of the musicians who have touched his own musical development. He dedicates ‘The Path’ to Carlos Santana and, despite the fact his playing is totally indicative of this legendary guitarist, Yandall still makes the tune entirely his own. The Larry Carlton inspired ‘LC Squared’ is a sheer delight yet perhaps the most poignant of Yandall’s tributes is that dedicated to the late Carl Evans Jr. Appropriately titled ‘Mr. Fattburger’, this beautifully structured number provides a fitting homage to the co-founder and keyboard player of the San Diego based band that, in the late eighties, did so much to shape the then emerging smooth jazz genre.
The decidedly retro sounding ‘Full Force’ fizzes along on a jazzy beat and, as Yandall switches to keys, he perfectly evokes the sound of jazz fusion circa 1980. The first single to go to radio is the R & B influenced title track. With a delicious brass driven groove, and Yandall’s tight playing, this cut is a real winner yet just as good and taking us right back to where this review began, ‘Sun Diego’ says it all about Yandall and the city in which he resides. With sunshine dripping from every note, and a horn infused feel good factor that is off the scale, this is what it’s all about.
‘A New Day’, which will be released nationwide on March 3, is a total joy and the perfect antidote to these credit crunched times in which we all currently live.
For more go to www.patrickyandall.com
SmoothVibes review: I have to admit to a certain bias here, as I personally think that Patrick Yandall is one of the most polished and accomplished guitarist around (and I speak from the vantage point of one guitarist to another, although I’m sure we’re miles apart in terms of overall ability and talent!). He wears smooth jazz like a well-fitting suit, and his clear, distinctly melodic sound clearly supports that view. As for his writing talents, we’re talking solid pieces, well interwoven into the very fabric of his music. A New Day, his latest, whose scheduled release date is April 3, bears all the markings of yet another aural treasure.
A New Day is simply loaded with shiny excitement right from the very start. The 1st and title track is most aptly named, as it’s just right for starting a new day: Sunny, driving, and with purpose and direction. That’s followed by the rocking, rhythmic “Urban Flight,” a tune definitely designed for getting on your dance groove. Anyone who can sit through “Pistons Stomp” without giving in to—or at least fighting--the urge to get up and get the party started has to be made of some immobile solid substance, like a brick wall! Other tracks that follow are notably characteristic of this prolific author of 10 superb releases, each bearing its own signature.
It’s perfectly alright, and has become acceptable to most jazzers, if an artist should opt to revisit in some clever way sounds or tunes from his or her earlier releases (and many have even embarked on a couple of CDs comprised largely of covers). However, what appeals to me most about Yandall is his ability to create something perfectly separate from previous work while staying rooted in a style that has defined him. His material is almost always fresh with new and exhilarating melodies, and one finds oneself anxiously awaiting the next tune or album because of this remarkable ability. Now, on A New Day, he approaches different styles that still suit his personal style. There are selections that may remind you of Earth, Wind, and Fire, the Isley Brothers, Larry Carlton, Carlos Santana, Fattburger, and various forms of funk—in fact, there are specific tributes to a few of these greats here. In the end, however, this is Patrick Yandall, in all his glory, recognizing those superb and different styles in his own very special way.
If you’re like me, you like your smooth jazz with motion, definition, and something that stirs the soul as well as tantalizes the ear. Something slightly different from the last album you heard (by any artist)-- but not unidentifiably different--doesn’t hurt, either, right? Well, that’s what you get when you listen to Yandall. Here’s another album without a single throw-away track, in my opinion. I don’t know of very many albums about which I can say that easily, although there have been a notable few lately. At any rate, remember the release date for this one. You can thank me later.
Posted by Ronald Jackson at February 21, 2009 8:02 PM
This is my 10th international release. My music has been featured on smooth jazz radio, This new smooth jazz release "A New Day" being co-produced by keyboard whiz Marc Pierucci. A song from my "Samoa Soul" CD "Who's the Bossa" made the soundtrack for the feature film in 08 titled "War, Inc" featuring John Cusack, Marissa Tomei, Joan Cusack, Dan Akroyd, Hillary Duff et.al.! My music is available at iTunes, Amazon.com & CDBaby.com, Target.com and featured on Top 10 smooth jazz channel on Music Choice, KIFM 98.1, Smooth Jazz and jazz radio U.S.. in the U.K. on Echo Smooth Jazz, Fusion Flavours, 1.FM, and FM5280! Funk, R&B, and Latin flavors featuring guitar in this 9th international release. Some tracks have already been featured on the Weather Channel. National recording artist/guitarist with 9 international releases. 8 contemporary jazz and the 2007 release "New York Blues" is a blues/rock release which received international airplay. Patrick has recorded in studio or performed live with Randy Brecker, Will Lee, Michael Paulo, Tom Braxton, Greg Vail, Joel Rosenblatt, Mitch Manker, Dwayne "Smitty" Smith, J Michael Verta, Will Donato, Scott Wilkie, Kevin Flournoy, Ada Rovatti, Nathan Brown, Robert Shipley, Andre Mayeux, Kimo Cornwell (Hiroshima), Jerry Watts, John Lewis, Johnny Friday, Carl Evans Jr., Tommy Aros, Kevin Koch, Evan Marks, Mark Hunter of Fattburger, Hollis Gentry III, Mike Peed, Rob Whitlock, Duncan Moore, Ready Freddie Washington, Brian Kilgore, Jason Weber, Max Zape, Darryl Williams, James East, Cecil MacBee, Bob Campbell, Steve Ebner, Michael Evans, and many, many more! Featured in Guitar Player, Jazziz, Jazz Times, Smooth & Soul, Smooth Vibes, JazzLynx, Smooth Jazz News et.al.. Endorsed by Elixir Strings, Seymour Duncan Pickups, Levy's Leathers Ltd., Carvin (Featured in catalogue), Tech21 NYC and Naked Guitars!