Roger Smith

Both Sides

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While Roger Smith expands his repertoire on his second album, Both Sides, he runs everything through his smooth jazz filter, so both the originals and covers sound similar. That's not necessarily a bad thing, since he has a pleasant, friendly style, but ultimately Both Sides doesn't amount to much more than background music. Smith's music is about maintaining a smooth groove, which means that the musicians -- including Gerald Albright, Paul Jackson, Jr., Luis Conte, Nelson Rangell, Phil Perry, Ricky Minor, and Michael O'Neil -- never take the songs in unexpected directions or launch into long improvistory solos. Of course, that won't be a problem for fans of Smith's first album, since this delivers a similar batch of songs equally well, but it does mean that it's not of much interest to jazz purists.

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