Jonathan Widran, All Music
“A keyboardist, composer and artist of extraordinary depth and vision, Al DeGregoris was on a mission to take his sound to the next level after the success of his debut—and succeeds brilliantly by complementing his own array of keyboard sounds, melodies and grooves with key contributions by the contemporary jazz elite. Despite all the star power, DeGregoris holds his own with a multi-faceted, multi-textured vibe that Jeff Lorber and Bob James would appreciate. In a genre where many artists find their pocket and continue to mine the same safe territory, DeGregoris’ has a blast taking stylistics leaps across cultures and time, going back to classic funk and big band, island and culture hopping and finding a few rockin’ sweet spots amidst the cool retro urban flow. These are Times and Travels that people are going to love experiencing.”
Brian Soergel, JazzTimes
“A complete musician who started playing at 4 and has studied with an impressive list of musicians himself, Al DeGregoris is a welcome addition to the smooth jazz field. With a style as cool and as inventive as Joe Sample, Brian Culbertson and David Benoit, DeGregoris’ songs are wonderfully harmonic and toe-tappingly suited to live shows and festivals as well as deserving airplay rotation.
Like any great smooth jazz CD, “Times & Travels” mixes moods for maximum listenability. “Follow Your Dreams,” a bouncy track with horns and vibes, leads off and is as tasty as anything on smooth-jazz radio the last couple of years. DeGregoris can do funk, as he explores with “We Don’t Do That Here” and “Drive Time,” the latter capturing the essence of a great Crusaders tune and features Chieli Minucci on guitar. “Bamboo Forest” is a smooth highlight, a relaxing song whose guitar work is reminiscent of Earl Klugh. Finally, DeGregoris shows off his skills with a short, solo-piano “Prelude” and his jazz chops with the swinging and energetic “4 X Four”.