I now had a good listen to this mix. Dimsa, you are awesome! You make me wonder whether I should make any smooth jazz mixes at all for myself, since this one here is just such a perfect match to the kind of smooth jazz I like! So far only Annie Mac was able to pull this off, her Groove In Lov #13 was like I put it together myself, for myself. Now I have the same feeling with your mix. (Well, I always have this feeling with yours but this time it's really close).
This is very understandable with your love for jazzfunk where it all comes from, you select the funkier songs with groovy bassline, a special subset of the huge smooth jazz universe.
Right at the beginning there is Four 80 East
- I wrote about them before, but I have to say now that you made a huge understatement: in your spreader you say it is a "typical smooth jazz" start. Well, nothing farther from that! This is almost pure funk, I love the groove and the bassline - headnodding type beats! Makes me think about going through my Four 80 East collection again looking for these nice tunes (I might not have this one, will look it up!)Euge Groove
starts a bit syrupy - that is the sound people call "elevator", but the beats are still tight and I did not doubt your selection, I knew there was gonna be a twist. And there is - bass gets tighter and the vibraphone solo turns almost into jazz - not the Roy Ayers kind, it's more like the ones on some Benson songs (especially the solo on "That's Right" which popped into my mind).
What you do next is not fair! Killing me at Track 3 is way too early!
I'm just listening to the groove and feel like dying, tears in my eyes... Well, well, it's Bob James
, but way too funky, almost hip-hop beats, I keep nodding my head heavily... then it transforms and it's not smooth jazz any more - the piano solo is pure high class jazz.
You kill me twice with this one: the mood and the trumpet reminded me heavily of something else: Chris Botti's
"Miami Overnight", very same feeling. Well, I had some suspicion about it: and guess what, after a bit of a research it turns out that Chris Botti is actually playing with Bob James on this Joy Ride album! Nothing greater than this feeling when you know some artists so intimately that you can identify them from how they play the instument! I'm always proud of myself when it happens (not too often BTW) - big thanks for you Mark for giving me this moment!
(Last time this happened to me I was listening to a George Benson song, "Deeper Than You Think" from the Absolute Benson album. The piano solo was so-so familiar and I had a hunch - I actually called Yellow Pages on my phone from the car and asked them to look up who played the piano on that song (via the Internet on Amazon). My hunch turned out to be right, it was Joe Sample - you just can't confuse his style of playing with anyone else...)
Nice transition to Marion Meadows
! With this genre the transitions are not that important, and they are bloody hard most of the time as it's jazz, it's not structured for mixing with bridges and breakdowns. The grovve beat gives a good guidelien to mix along, I like the way you're switching, brief and effective, but it still has a blend feeling instead of a mxitape or compilation type stop/start mood.
What I said earlier was true: In general Euge Groove, Marion Meadows, Boney James are too syrupy for me (Peter White is usually funkier in general), except for one or two track per album. I was 100% sure that you will pick those tracks that I'd pick and this Meadows is a great expample for that - yes, there's the sax but it's still funky. I actually quite like the vibe in the background (loosely reminds me of "All Through The Night" by Tone Loc - partly the vibes, partly the jazz guitar later on... great tune man!The 3rd Force
track sound a bit older for me, is this 90s acid jazz? Bit like the early Ninja Tunes songs, 9 Lazy 9 in particular (just the beats). Great fit and bit of a contrast.
The next Lakki Patey
track confirms this direction, what a surprise! This is a real gem! Never heard about him before, but I need to look it up! Bit acid jazz sound for me, and tight, so tight with the rimshots! Way too funky! There it is: you can take out Dimsa from funk (to do a smooth jazz mix) but you cannot take the funk out of Dimsa!
Bit of an abrupt transition after this, but does not matter - it's all about music and there's no point trying to blend together two instument solos...
Next one (Track 7)
: hmmm - did not remember having Richard Bona
in your tracklist?
Well, well, it's Bob James, the Joy Ride album again... I saw Richard Bona contributing but you don't have to be a genius to recognize his unique voice. I saw him live many years ago playing with Pat Metheny, I'm a fan since then.
This is a great trick in your tracklisting, I was "complaining" about "too many" Bob James tracks (well, quoting Luther Vandross, it's "Never Too Much"
) - in reality this sounds more like a Richard Bona song than a Bob James one, so there's no feeling of duplication here at all.Track 8 - Love Train
Such a popular drum sample, could not tell who made it, my tip is Nelee Hooper, real Massive Attach fans would probably kill me for not recognizing. I believe there was a Massive track similar to this - love the organ sound and the "dope beat" feeling with the laid back percussion - I would expect this to pop up on a "This Is Acid Jazz" compilation, nice reference again to the roots.
Two more sax filled songs and we're down to Foreplay
(Bob James again): and there's scratching in it! So the subtle hip-hop theme goes on, I would say this is one of my favorite Fourplay songs, but that would be a lie since there are so many great tunes I wouldn't be able to pick one or few, I love them all. On the other hand this is _probably_ the one and only Fourplay tune with any scratching in it! Nice selection!
Two more sax tracks at the end - one could say that you're on the edge of cheesiness with it, but I'd say it's still on the funk side (the right side) of that border. Smooth jazz covers of mainstream pop, soul and even rock tracks are quite common and can get quite cheesy - "What's Going On"
here is an exception from that rule of thumb, the sax solo shows the virtue of the player, almost hardcore jazz again. Like the idea of still having small bits of chorus even it the main theme is not sung, it's played on track. You swing us into the happy, nice orange sunset with this last one.
What can I say? You deliver an excellent lecture in the genre and demonstrate the real, exciting, funk side of smooth jazz! I utterly enjoyed it and it's good to see that there are other crusaders out there preaching and evangelizing these tunes! My only challenge now is that I have all these deep house tracklists lined up that I want to mix and release - after listening to this I realized how much more I like jazz, RnB and soul tracks (lounge in general) - hard choice, well, there's a mood for every type of music - I'm definitely in the mood now so hopefully I'll also release mixes along these lines pretty soon...
Big one million points! (or billion?)