When I reviewed Quintin Gerard W’s debut album ‘Fnkysax’ in 2005 I described it as having an urban slant that Boney James would be proud of and a sensuality that makes more than a nod in the direction of Kenny G. Inexplicably ‘Fnkysax’ did not make Quintin an overnight success but now he is back with his follow up CD and the ten ultra tight tracks that make up ‘Perseverance’ again leave me wondering why this guy is not already a star. Quintin Gerard W grew up in Norco, Louisiana but it was when he relocated to Los Angeles, California in 1989 that he began to meet and play with many of the top names in Smooth Jazz. He has performed live with the likes of Jeff Lorber (on the ‘Worth Waiting For’ tour), Kenny Garrett, Najee, Dave Koz, Ron Brown, and Hollis Gentry III. Quintin Gerard W.'s other saxophone friends include Jay Beckentstein from Spyro Gyra, Jeff Kashiwa of The Rippingtons and Kirk Whalum. ‘Perseverance’ unlocks the door on another chance for solo stardom yet the moody opening rap ‘Kickin’ It Real’ betrays, in part, his obvious frustrations in not having secured a deal with a major label and the lack of radio play that has, to date, inhibited his exposure.
Exposure is what it is all about because once Q’s trademark mellow and hypnotic grooves kick in on ‘Lovin’ Every Minute Of It’ there is no doubt that here is a collection a cut above the average. ‘Sensuous’ is something that Gerard does very well and ‘Man And A Woman’, taking as it does a leaf from Culbertson’s ‘Its On Tonight’ project, positively drips with it and in the same vein is ‘Relationships’. This urban smoker just oozes Q’s special vibe and with the precise, melodic ‘Freedoms Cry’ he keeps it interesting while keeping it mellow. Q lists Miles Davis as one of his musical heroes and on ‘Last Call From Miles’ he pays his respects and builds a little improvisation around a solid bass line from Larry Allen. The title track is all about classy smooth jazz. A tune that in the hands of a lesser performer might have turned out bland, Q prevents it from being so with inspired production, the use of his own subliminal keys and different but welcome drum backing from Richard Sellers.
Some of the intro’s that Q conjures up are straight from the top drawer of contemporary jazz and notable in this respect is the precursor to the soulful and mellow ‘E.I T.Y. (Everytime I Think Of You)’. Its one of the CD’s stand out tracks but there are others too. With ‘Don’t Look At Me (Like That Baby)’ Q weaves in his own vocals to produce a knock out slice of smooth R & B but just shading it as best cut on the album is ‘Everyday Routine’. Dripping with edgy urban vibes this infectious piece of funky jazz is stunning both in its production and delivery.
Gerard quotes the dictionary definition of Perseverance as “the quality of being determined to do or achieve something”. With this album he has done this and more. All he needs now is for the music media and the great contemporary jazz listening public to realize it.
For more on Quintin Gerard W go to www.quintingerardw.com