With the 2007 CD ‘City Lights’, and his 2011self-titled follow-up, sax-man Greg Chambers has been carving out his own niche in the annals of contemporary jazz. Of course Chambers is far from being your regulation smooth jazz musician. With a resume that includes a parallel project with his own jazz quartet plus work with the Aspen Festival Orchestra he remains well equipped to ring the changes. However, his latest release, the seven-track EP ‘After Hours’ (that will hit the streets on March 26) puts him unequivocally back into smooth jazz territory. Not only that, with stellar input from Jonathan Fritzen, Paul Brown Darren Rahn, Roberto Vally and Ross Bolton, ‘After Hours’ proves to be something of a musical tour de force.
Take for example Chambers’ own composition ‘In The Pocket’ that features both Brown on guitar plus Brown’s old sparring partner Roberto Vally on bass. It is very much smooth jazz on the mellow side and when Brown stays around to mix the jazz classic ‘Groovin’ High’ it affords Chambers the opportunity to indulge his penchant for a straight ahead groove. Elsewhere Darren Rahn’s work at the mixing desk makes the most of Greg’s edgy interpretation of the Michael Jackson blockbuster ‘Human Nature’ and he does much the same with one of Chambers’ own tunes, the romantically inclined ‘Your Place Or Mine’, that is right up there with the best that ‘After Hours’ has to offer.
Later Brown returns on guitar for another of my personal favorites, the seductively smoky ‘Chelsea’s Song’, and although the splendid ‘On The Move’ glides along with a tasty streetwise swagger, it’s the wonderfully easy grooving title cut that steals the show. With Fritzen on keys at his hugely immaculate best this one is a gem.
For details on how to buy the album go to www.gregchambersmusic.com