Smooth Jazz Therapy favorite Greg Chambers has been carving out his place in the annals of smooth jazz saxophone since 2007 and the release of his debut recording ‘City Lights’. His self-titled follow up came along in 2011 and was followed two years later by the excellent seven-song EP ‘After Hours’. Even better (and then his most commercial to date) was the 2014 project ‘Can’t Help Myself’ and now he is back with the outstanding ‘A New Day’ for which he is joined by regular collaborators Matt Godina and Paul Brown plus a ‘who’s who’ of smooth jazz talent including Adam Hawley, Kenji Matsui, Roberto Vally, Preston Smith, Nate Harasim, Rodney Franklin, Lin Rountree, Nils and Lew Laing.
The immense feel good vibe of the title cut proves to be a wonderful way to get the album started. It is one of five tracks co-written by Chambers with guitarist and keyboard player Matt Godina while elsewhere that highly respected producer, mixer, writer and performer Nate Harasim has a hand in three of the ten choice tunes. ‘Til Sunrise’, which features a cool contribution on guitar from Nils, is a zesty tour de force, ‘Tell Me All Your Secrets’ is in the best tradition of the smooth jazz anthem and much the same could be said of ‘When I Think Of You’ that might well get in your head and not go away.
Chambers and Godina also write ‘Midnight Drive’ that is not only a superb showcase for Chambers’ on-point playing but also includes guitars from rising star Adam Hawley. Greg eases down the tempo for the heartfelt ‘All For You’ where Paul Brown joins him on guitar. In fact Brown features often and none more so than with the ultra tender ‘Sweet Embrace’ that he co-writes, produces and adds his distinctive guitar sound. Brown is also front back and center of the up-tempo ‘Once In A While’ yet in terms of personal favorites the lusciously easy grooving ‘Gotta Get Back To You’ is right up there with the best that ‘A New Day’ has to offer.
That said, and all things considered, it is another Chambers Godina composition, the deliciously swaggering ‘Side To Side’, that reveals itself as a terrific slice of textbook contemporary jazz.
Greg Chambers is the real smooth jazz deal and then some. Check him out.