Title - 'Tranquility'
Artist - Les Sabler
For those not in the know, the suggestion to team up and create a new, fresh sound came from two-time GRAMMY winner Paul Brown, who himself has produced dozens of No. 1 hits.
When contemporary jazz guitarist, Nashville-based Les Sabler entered Brown’s Funky Joint studio near Los Angeles to begin tracking, Brown, also a guitarist, recommended that Sabler swap out his trusty guitar in favor of Brown’s vintage Gibson Johnny Smith model.
The electric guitar that has innate acoustic qualities and balances tone and sustain gave Sabler an entirely new sound, which he used to create his eighth album, Tranquility, dropping January 29 on New Vista Records.
“The guitar’s sound is a sonic departure from anything I had previously recorded and this resulted in a successful single release, ‘Keep Pushin,’" Sabler admits.
"My fascination with the expressive tone of this instrument and my comfort in playing it led me to acquire my own, a vintage ‘67 beauty,” he adds.
1. 'Crescent City Strut'
2. 'City Rhythm'
3. 'Three Dee'
4. 'Esselle’s Dance'
5. 'Easy Moves'
7. 'Keep Pushin’'
8. 'In The Light' (Remix)
9. 'Where Has She Gone'
In essence, from start to finish Tranquility is a melody-rich, contemporary jazz listening experience of the highest order. But isn't that exactly what we have come to expect from someone amongst the most perfectionist, detail-oriented people within the business?
In truth, and giving my own ten cents worth, I personally believe that every fan of music, in general, and of whatever genre, should have at least one representative CD of every type out there. And for jazz you could do no worse than add anything from Les Sabler to your collection.
Anyway, and back on track (no pun intended), this 10-track set (his first since 2014’s Brazilian jazz outing Jobim Tribute) consists of vibrant harmonies, funky R&B grooves and sophisticated instrumental pop that has you hitting repeat the very moment the CD has stopped spinning.
Ornate and supple, expansive and yet deliberately scaled at times, Sabler’s deft and soulful electric guitar occasionally yields to his more sensitive nylon-stringed guitar, none more so than on such a track as the eloquent beauty found within 'Esselle’s Dance' (which Sabler himself says “... is as beautiful as anything I have ever recorded.”)
One of my own personal favorites is the album’s lone remake, 'Sunrise,' a George Benson original that Brown masterfully enhanced with Lee Thornburg’s trumpet and trombone. I'm a HUGE fan of Benson's (check out his recent Weekend In London album) and so to hear Sabler handle this his way was surprisingly rather comforting.
Official Keep Pushin' Music Video