Jon Regen

Revolution

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Jon Regen made his name as a jazz musician, notably spending a significant amount of time supporting vocal legend Jimmy Scott, so the pop savvy of his 2011 album Revolution may come as a surprise to those who have only read his biography. Not that this soulful singer/songwriter has never touched upon pop before -- 2007's Let It Go was in a similar vein and also featured an appearance from Police guitarist Andy Summers, who pops up on Revolution's "Spirits of the Soul" -- but this easily assured, 2011 set is especially beguiling, as Regen pushes his melodicism to the forefront. He's received some songwriting help from Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas and David McAlmont, but they don't force their personalities upon the pianist: he very much anchors this album with his nimble, jazzy soul-pop. Echoes of Boz Scaggs, Steve Winwood, and Billy Joel can be heard throughout Revolution, but Regen is sharp, he never lingers in one spot, and he keeps the record swinging and soulful, so the album sticks as both songs and performance.

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