The new identity this tune takes is very cool. The 1980 original is great in so many ways, and this new version shows how versatile the source material can be. This arrangement has a much bigger presence, and has some instant gratification that hooks the listener. Cates takes full advantage of this and keeps them on the line with his sax skills.
Michael Cates returns with yet another delightfully hip-sounding smooth jazzer that thankfully boasts all of the accomplished musicians scintillating trademarks. From the countless sultry sax lines to the thoroughly infectious sense of groove flowing throughout, "77 Hours" offers plenty in the way of delectable melodies, texturally warm timbral layering, and of course, strongly defined and articulate performances that are able to bring out the most subtle of nuances in the inspired writing. Between the truly alluring nature of the sax' fluid-like phrasing, the body-moving, funk-laced rhythmic elements, and the sophisticated nature of the track's overall sense of character, "77 Hours" delivers a solid smooth-jazz listening experience that I'm sure will make many a listener want to pick up an instrument.
From its very first few notes, "77 Hours" envelops the listener in a warm and inviting embrace. The saxophone, the centerpiece of this composition, gracefully dances atop a luscious bed of rich chords. The melody weaves through the scales, effortlessly transitioning between moments of smoothness and moments of fervor. Its seductive allure lies in its ability to evoke a range of emotions, from wistfulness to exuberance, captivating the listener at every turn.
The rhythmic foundation of "77 Hours" is simple yet highly effective, helping to create just the right amount of interplay between the drums, bass, and key elements in order to create an engaging sense of groove that serves as the heartbeat of the composition. The drums maintain a steady pulse, while the bass weaves intricate patterns that embrace and accentuate the saxophone's melodic flights. The keys, with their delicate touch, help to add a further air of elegance to the rhythmic landscape. Together, these elements create a seamless flow, carrying the listener effortlessly through the instrumental.
The saxophone, the star of the show, shines with brilliance throughout "77 Hours." The soloist's virtuosity is showcased in each note and phrase, as they navigate the expressive nuances of the instrument. The solos are imbued with a sense of spontaneity, as the saxophone artistically explores the musical space, captivating the listener's attention with its expressive power.
Sultry melodies and tantalizing rhythms abound in Michael Cates' new tune In Your Eyes. A Smooth Jazz spectacle with a heavy groove, In Your Eyes is effortlessly confident and slightly uninhibited. It opens with an attention-grabbing solo sax line that lets you know this tune is not fooling around. The bass-forward groove is accented with stylish guitar and keys to create a mood that is hot and heavy. When the main melody kicks in, In Your Eyes shows its softer side and nestles right into your memory. There are harmonized moments of tender bliss, and show stopping explosions that makes In Your Eyes endlessly entertaining. It seems to have a life of its own, with Cates nudging it in the right direction. Throw this tune on to set the mood, and see where the night takes you.
Copyright © 2023 Michael Cates - All Rights Reserved.