Steve Oliver,
(Koch, 2006)

California native Steve Oliver takes the laidback lifestyle of his time and places it into his music on this album, which includes a cover of the Stephen Stills song "For What It's Worth." Radiant is the fifth album for Oliver since he struck out on his own in 1999.

It is fitting that the Smooth Jazz Award and Association for Independent Music nominee has opened for the likes of Boney James, the Rippingtons and Larry Carlton because he indeed very much resembles Carlton and the Rippingtons in sound and style. Oliver has also performed with trumpet player Chris Botti and at the Barbados Jazz Festival.

Amongst the instrumentals on the 11-piece album, Oliver includes a few songs. When he is not singing, Oliver also uses his voice like another instrument on a couple of the tunes.

For smooth jazz and adult contemporary artist Oliver, it is a "what you see is what you get" affair both on and off the stage. Oliver hopes that his fans will leave a performance happy -- as happy as he is performing. Oliver rivals late soul legend James Brown for being the hardest-working musician in the business with more than 200 performances each year.

Radiant is an appropriately named album, as it radiates Oliver's playing and musical skills and is an album of feel-good jazz. And Oliver saves the best for last with a beautiful original song called "Radiant Dreams."

by Sherrill Fulghum
21 April 2007

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