An album of all original music is always worth scrutiny and on closer inspection ‘Secrets’ by sax-man Doug Jones reveals itself to be a tight collection of contemporary jazz tracks that Doug writes, arranges and produces in impressive style. It follows his 2013 project ‘Top Down’ which at the time I described as “a fine showcase for his considerable talents” and indicates that here is a musician with the attributes necessary to shift his career to another level.
‘Secrets’ is quickly up and running with ‘Sunshine’ that makes an early statement as to Doug’s smooth credentials and truth to tell establishes an easy grooving platform on which tunes such as ‘Dinner Rush’ and ‘Beautiful Dream’ comfortably sit.
In terms of personal favorites the mellifluous ‘Forgiveness’ is right up there and when Doug eases up the tempo the reward is the seriously brass enriched title cut. In similar vein is ‘Morning Traffic’ where all indications are that everything is flowing well and ‘Back On Redwood’ which (in deference to Doug’s previous CD) proves to be real ‘driving with the top down’ music.
The expansive splendor of the instrumental ballad ‘One More Time’ brings about a change in style and much the same can be said of the extremely evocative ‘October Sky’ where Rick Handville on guitar makes a significant contribution. It paves the way for the mellow splendor of ‘With Every Breath’ that is lifted by the string arrangement of Troy Slocum and is yet another strong number in an album packed with them.