Pat Kelley

High Heels

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The nice guy with the soft Okie twang kicked off his heels for another round of breezy guitar finesse, featuring some of the biggest jazz names on the West Coast. Kelley's follow-up to the very pop-jazzy I'll Stand Up is still melodic, but the individual melodies are not as instantly hummable as his previous material. He more than compensates by making his playing the star. Most of the tracks here are as breezy-going as the title cut, and the sweetness of tunes like "Capuccino Chat" and "The Beholder" are helped along by the likes of Eric Marienthal and Gary Herbig. The late-night conversations find a hypnotic "Continuum" (featuring Luis Conte's Rippingtons-like nature soundscape) in the samba grooves of "Midnight Cafe" before the punchy "True Spirit" (the most memorable cut) of the aptly titled "Jam Box" shines through. This last tune features some fun harmonizing by the Perri Sisters. Even if the reflective "Peaceful" sounds a lot like Larry Carlton's "On Solid Ground," (Carlton is an obvious influence) and the so-so vocal sounds like a Dan Siegel vocal track from the same year, there is still much to find attractive about these songs.

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