Hear The Track HereA new name to me, bass player LeeVel tends to frolic in the Smooth Jazz area of the musical spectrum and - as you know - this is not a genre I particularly like. Lee Velasquez (aka LeeVel drrrr) is from Kansas and appears to make pretty much everything you hear, and that everything encompasses a considerable degree of expertise - especially production and arrangement. Not a bad start at all then, considering the mountain of predjudice (on my part) that this track would have to climb to win me over and - as I expected - the style this music is couched in soon had me eyeing the Stop button. Still, I've heard a damn sight worse MOR material masquerading as smooth jazz and at least LeeVel nailed the genre correctly.
Digging deeper, Lee seems to have been on Soundclick for at least a couple of years so I am a bit surprised that I haven't come across him before, although the smooth jazz tag would have certainly made me think twice about a casual listen. The more I played All My Plumbers Gigs (see song comments for explanation) the more I began to realise that I actually liked what I was hearing. Sure, it is all so clean you could eat your dinner off it, and the licks and rhythms were exactly what you would expect, the overall abiding impression was that - as much as I disliked the genre - this track had a lot of things in its favour.
As you would expect, being a bass player, that instrument takes up centre stage but not - to my surprise - to the detriment of any of the other instruments involved; that takes skill and a sharp pair of ears. Being a jazz track, the lick is the thing and although I might have sounded like I was damning with faint praise earlier don't make that assumption. A lot of the solos on this track make perfect sense and some even sent the odd chill down the old backbone and believe me that doesn't happen often with music of this type. The skill or production and performance would inspire me to dig a little deeper into this musicians output, and for me that says it all.
Highly Recommended Smooth Jazz. (Ed: eh? Did I read that right?)