Many have asked for more smooth jazz tunes from Mars. At The End Of The Day includes 10 smooth jazz tracks which feature Mars' cool grooves, infectious melodies and sensual soundscapes. Musicians Greg Vail, Cadence Spalding, Jeff Burak, Winslow Crockwell Jr. and Carlos Villalobos join Mars in this high quality collection. If you like smooth jazz, you'll like this one.
Smooth Jazz Vibes.com
If you like prolific artists, how about an artist who manages to crank out an album or two each year with each being uniquely special in its composition one way or another? Such is the case with Mars Lasar who’s released over 20 albums and has a rather extensive resume of productions, arrangements, and other credits. We’re talking about affiliations with everyone from Seal to Herbie Hancock to Aerosmith! That’s about as eclectic and diverse as one can get, wouldn’t you say? This experience doesn’t go untapped with At the End of the Day, a project that, upon hearing, I was driven to review.
With an oft-common thread with the fresh silk of Paul Hardcastle, Lasar shows here on At the End of the Day, with the help of accomplished saxophonist Greg Vail (who adds a really nice touch), that he’s as comfortable with the vibe of smooth jazz and wears its grooves as well as he would with any element of new age (which still maintains a presence here), electronica or any of the other genres he’s noted for exploring and conquering. When I think about his previous themes of preserving our planet and resources, protecting our parks, etc., this project--though mostly created in a smooth jazz setting--is not so far removed from those earlier themes of environmental appreciation, with tunes like “A Drive Through Vineyards,” “City Skyline,” and “Sweet Summer Haze.”
The music here is addictively soothing and unimposing, yet boasts a heavy presence in the room just through its moving, lush melodies and smart, well-conceived hooks. In many cases, an album will put forth an up-tempo, driving piece as its opener to get the listener’s attention. To demonstrate Lasar’s confidence in his ability to capture a listener regardless of the type of tune that sets off his album, this album begins with a slow, hauntingly mellow little ditty called “Warm Nights.” It may not be the pacesetter for the entire album (just listen to the aforementioned “A Drive Through Vineyards,” as well as “Good Times” and “Uptown,” and you’ll get my point), but it’s certainly capable of influencing one to have a seat and give a good, hard listen to the fluid sweetness of the whole production. That fluidity strolls through each track seamlessly. The diversity here is quite satisfying and complete. For example, in addition to tunes I’ve already mentioned here, there’s “Come and Join Us,” which brings to mind the slinky, kinda bluesy cuts like Rick Braun’s “Cadillac Slim.”
Overall, just listen, and you’ll agree at the end of the day that Mars Lasar has a bonafide winner.
Reviewed by Michael Debbage 2008
Solo Piano Publications.com
Mars Lasar has always been an artist who is on the cutting edge. With that attribute comes an artist that refuses to stereotype himself and who has explored themes such as evocative nature recordings, electronic chill out, ambient to straight up reflective lullabies. A brilliant artist, his listening public can always expect the unexpected. This time around Lasar explores smooth jazz with the unique touch one has come to expect from Mars, emphasizing mood over melody.
Upon the opening bar of the album, you immediately realize that you are in for unique blend of mainstream smooth jazz with a twist of Lasar drum loops and sound manipulation that he is famous for. Most of the album focuses on the sensual smoky jazz feeling with significant assistance coming from the in demand session player Greg Vail on saxophones and flute. The album also includes one vocal track, “Sometimes” that features the chanting of Cadence. But without a doubt the highlight of the album is “Sweet Summer Haze” which presents the albums most distinct and obvious melody. Though smoldering in the smooth jazz genre, the song is smothered in a Lasar melody and it is probably the most commercial effort on the album with “Once Upon A Star” coming a close second.
Keeping his artistic integrity in line, if you are a fan of the smooth jazz genre with a slight twist, at the end of the day this is an album worth exploring.
KCSN FM's Galactic Voyager:)
I have heard a lot of smooth jazz music. I only like this kind of music if it's done well. Sometimes the pieces can be generic and indistinguishable from one work to the next. Mars Lasar's album At the End of the Day manages to sound distinctive. While it has elements of smooth jazz, it has the signature Mars Lasar melodies, rhythms, grooves, and ambience I've come to expect. Mars has managed to pull off a great release. Congratulations and thanks.
Filmmaker Derek K. Milton
British Columbia, Canada
Anyone who is a fan of Mars Lasar and of course is familiar with his music, if you were to ask them what they like about his work, their answers would be diverse. Reason being, his music cannot be narrowed down to one thing. However, those die hard fans out there such as myself, who truly love what Mars brings to our ears, there is one thing he delivers that we all can count on - unbridled feeling. His latest work, 'At the end of the day' is no exception.
This new album encompasses a few elements which much be addressed. First of all, the unique original sound and evident passion Mars always brings to his music. He has a beat... a melody... a sensation that is so independent of itself, the moment one hears it they know exactly who it is immediately. Throw into the mix a wonderful sprinkling of carefully placed sax, keyboards and guitar, the end 'smooth jazz' result is a journey of truly satisfying movement. Whether it be the classic and sexy title track 'At the end of the day' or the sensual 'Sweet Summertime Haze' or the deeply melodic and beautiful 'Once upon a star', these lavish tracks, along with the rest of this first rate album is a must have for any music lover's collection. He has done it again folks... he has given us magic.