Michael C. Lewis,
(independent, 2009)

This is a smooth jazz that has Michael C. Lewis both playing and singing on mostly original songs. It begins with "Reflection (Sunrise)," which has Lewis playing flugelhorn on a simple but appealing tune backed only by keyboards. "Gulf Breeze" is a mildly funky tune with a breezy melody featuring Lewis on both trumpet and flugelhorn. "I Need Your Love" is a reflective ballad with background vocals. "I Need Your Love" includes repetitive singing of the words of the title, but Lewis provides deft flugelhorn work here.

Lewis begins singing on "I Dedicate My Heart." His voice is fine, but the lyrics that begin "Hearts on fire / strong desire" leave much to be desired. No one could do much with lines like "I dedicate my heart, my soul, and luuuuuv to you." "In the Night Time" says "it always comes out right" (with background singers) in equally bland fashion. Lewis also does a soul version of the Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun."

"Kid Time" combines funk and effects like echoes and doubling for a groovy nu-jazz vibe, even adding some electric guitar work by William "Spaceman" Patterson. "Reflection (Sunset)" is a nice ending as well as beginning.

The whole CD is very synthesized, even crediting two people just for programming. There is no bass player or drummer, only drum programming. This approach provides a nice wash of sound backing Lewis's horns, which in turn have a rounded, softer feel that fits in with the melodies. Backing his vocals, though, it tends to sound a little cheesy.

Except for the vocal tracks, this is a nicely done smooth jazz effort.

[ visit the artist's website ]

music review by
Dave Howell

4 December 2010

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