The opening track, “Funky Side of Time,” a cool mid-tempo groove with a potent hook gets this project start on a defining note, combing jazz, blues, and funk in a delicious potpourri of sound. From there, things seem to take off in different individually expressive and defining directions, from the organ-led version of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” to the blues-dominated “Bluvis Gruvis” to the very bluesy and jazzy “Almost There” with the silky and seductive vocals of Amy Keys.

One of our most familiar and congenial contemporary jazz fixtures, Mr. Gerald Albright, appears here, offering his notable bass skills on the opening track and bass and sax work on a familiar and catchy Stevie Wonder/Syreeta Wright-penned track “To Know You is To Love You.”

If you’re looking for good, uncomplicated, unpretentious, gentle and smooth–yet moving–jazz on a level that not only demonstrates talent but strikes at the core of the genre, Common Ground should easily find common ground with you. It’s certainly in firm ground as a solid project. – Ronald Jackson

 

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