Saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa like to strip things down to their bare essentials, concept-wise, and on his new album, Play, he does exactly that. The music is funky and original, and Kashiwa shows off his talent for melody and improvisation with unbridled enthusiasm.
Kashiwa co-produced the set with Dave Kochanski, and gets assistance from guest performers Russell Ferrante, of the Yellowjackets, Miles Gilderdale of Acoustic Alchemy, saxophonist David Mann, and drummer Dave Hooper.
To carry out the concept event further, the cover art for Play offers up a giant audio "play" symbol familiar to those with CD players and iPods.
The concept of getting back to basics in his music is something Kashiwa has always done, though he finally fine-tuned the process on his previous CD, 2002's Simple Truth. He said: "This is the first time I've actually put this process into words, this has always been my process. Every musician of course doesn't want to perform a lie, or perform falsely, and that your point as an artist is to be as real as possible. However, a lot of times you can get sidetracked by people telling to play this, you should play this way, you should dress this way, you should act -- you know, all the 'shoulds'in life which are very -- they kind of put out the flames of creativity when you're told to do something rather than discover it freely."
Jeff Kashiwa's Play is due July 31st on Native Language.
By: Janine Coveney
Find more Jeff Kashiwa CDs at amazon.com
Best selling smooth jazz at amazon.com
Jazz from Amazon.com