Wednesday, September 30, 2009

LeeVel - All Hans On Deck

Hear The Track Here

Lee Velasquez (aka Leevel) introduced me to his brand of jazz with All The Plumbers Gigs (February 2009) and considering that smooth is not a word tolerated in my household (as in smooth jazz in this case), he escaped with very little injury. The quality of the production and performance is what impressed me most, as always, but if there wasn't a decent melody or point behind it it's just another instrumental and on that level, I wasn't as impressed. There again, it takes a rare track to blow me on my ass and an even rarer jazz track. The only person who has impressed me in that way lately is the musician known as 333maxwell who is a jazz natural IMO.

All Hans on Deck is yet another Smooth Jazz track, although this one probably lies more in the dreaded Kenny G stylee than anything else and - at least for this reviewer - that is tremendously off-putting. If there is one genre I absolutely cannot stand it's that bland, mindless tootling the Smooth Jazz genre is riddled with, most of the blame can be attributed to The Bland Piper. So consequently, it's a given that All Hans On Deck is not really going to be something I would like. Admittedly, I might have been more susceptible to its charms if the proposed trombone solo with Hans Judd had come about, but it sounds like it didn't.

Come on Hans, get off your butt...

Lee comments that the track is a 'short, feel-good, swingy groove' and I'd agree with him, certainly the bass front and centre also claimed a lot of the swing action. Lee is a bass player predominately and that shows, he's some some very nice lines happening throughout the track and that - more than anything else - was what kept me listening to it. As I say, it's not my style at all but having work of this quality makes all the difference. Definitely one for the smoother side of life though.

Recommended Smooth Jazz.

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