Title - 'Jammin' - Outside The Box'
Artist - David Garfield
For those not in the know, internationally acclaimed David Garfield an American keyboardist, songwriter, and producer who performs in the Los Angeles music scene.
Furthermore, he has recorded with Smokey Robinson, Cher, Larry Carlton, Steve Lukather, Spinal Tap, George Benson, The Manhattan Transfer, Eros Ramazzotti, and The Rippingtons.
Indeed, he has also performed with Freddie Hubbard, Boz Scaggs, Oleta Adams, Brenda Russell, Natalie Cole, and Michael Bolton. Garfield is a founding member of “Karizma” and “Los Lobotomys” and his production and arrangement of 'Let’s Stay Together' featuring Michael McDonald, Don Henley, Richard Marx, Bill Champlin and David Pack (from his CD, Tribute to Jeff) made the top ten radio worldwide.
Not content with letting past relationships dwindle on the musical vine, David Garfield is back with some of his musician friends on his immediate follow-up to this years Jazz Outside The Box, the alternatively entitled Jammin' - Outside The Box (out July 20th, 2018 via Creatchy Records).
Surrounded by a stellar cast that boasts George Benson, David Sanborn, Smokey Robinson, Michael McDonald, Oleta Adams, Ray Parker Jr. and many more, his “Outside the Box” five-part, multi-genre series continues in some fine form, trust me.
1. 'Go Home'
2. 'Chasing Pavements'
3. 'Please Don't Go'
5. 'Lovin' You'
6. 'Fragile' (Instrumental)
8. 'One Like You'
9. 'Waiting For Your Love'
10. 'Rainbow Seeker' (Electric)
11. 'The Highways Of My Life'
12. 'Rock Steady'
13. 'What You Won't Do For Love'
14. 'Harvest Time' (Electric)
Effortlessly combining both smooth and contemporary jazz, we begin with the former styling within the album's first single, 'Go Home.' A cover of Stevie Wonder's mid-'80s cut, and dedicated to the late drummer Ricky Lawson, it has already hit #2 on the Billboard Chart. A stunning cover of Adele's 'Chasing Pavements' is along next, with the new and original track 'Please Don't Go' sliding in nicely thereafter.
But it's the Chaka Khan and Rufus song 'Stay' that has the second-most poignancy attached to it on this new recording. Featuring former Rufus drummer Richard “Moon” Calhoun on vocals, not to mention guitarists George Benson and Paul Jackson Jr., and sax man David Sanborn, it's the fact that Calhoun (who also co-wrote the song with Chaka Khan) was paralyzed in a bike accident 25 years ago that begins to add layers to this musical tale.
No longer able to play the drums thereafter, he can still sing and without a shadow of a doubt delivers a timeless lead vocal on this revitalized version. Amanda Maiden, daughter of original Rufus guitarist Tony Maiden, provides the inspired backing vocals and that leads beautifully into Minnie Riperton’s timeless classic 'Lovin’ You.'
Now featuring vocalist Lilliana de los Reyes, it has to be said that in every way it's as if Reyes is expertly channeling the aforementioned Riperton. For her vocal presentation is spot on that of the singer-songwriter with the four-octave coloratura soprano.
Next comes a so-called "instrumental" of Sting's haunting 'Fragile,' but as it features the vocals of Michael McDonald, I don't see how it could actually be called such. No matter though, as it showcases Brazilian guitarist newcomer Diego Figueiredo's infectious virtuoso guitar styling quite like nothing I've heard thus far this year.
That's backed by the second single released, Bob Marley's 'Jamming' - which made it to #8 on the Billboard Charts. Featuring guitarist Mike Campbell (Tom Petty's Heartbreakers) and saxophonist Brandon Fields (The Rippingtons, Tower of Power), it's yet another fine example of what Garfield does best within his profession.
Another new original gem is 'One Like You,' which features the unmistakable vocal tones of Smokey Robinson, and that's followed by Garfield flourishing among the gentle R&B and funk vibes for 'Waiting For Your Love.' Next comes an electric cover of Joe Sample’s 'Rainbow Seeker.'
Introduced by Natalie Cole, the Isley Brothers' 'The Highways of My Life' was actually meant to have Cole singing, but her untimely passing meant that when it came time to record it, the wonderful Oleta Adams stepped up to the musical plate.
Also featuring Phil Perry, whose vocals are so reminiscent of Ronald Isley’s that closing your eyes they blend seamlessly together as one, Garfield has re-envisioned the song now as a moving duet. Now complete with an expansive 24-piece string section, arranged by Grammy winner John Clayton, it truly makes for an exquisite tribute to Cole.
A vibrant cover of Aretha Franklin’s 'Rock Steady,' featuring vocalist Kenya Hathaway is another stand out cut here on this new album, and that's backed by Bobby Caldwell’s 'What You Won’t Do For Love' (featuring Lamont Dozier on vocals), with the album coming to a close with the tender original, 'Harvest Time.'
“One of the things I have always loved to do is keep the spirit of old-school R&B fresh and alive for new generations of listeners," Garfield himself has said. "This explains my longstanding tradition of creating interesting and sometimes stylistically off-the-beaten path reimaginings of songs by legendary soul artists. It was a thrill doing these songs, adding a jazz touch with improvisation that take the songs ‘outside the box.’"
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