Pat Kelley

I'll Stand Up

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You're listening to this follow up to the guitarist's Views of the Future, searching for just the right words to capture all the different moods he goes through. Romantic, playful, and wild might be a good start. Even so, the operative word here seems to be smooth. Too smooth. Ultra smooth, if you will. As producer of this virtually flawless nine tune collection, Kelley has surrounded himself with some of the finest players around: Brandon Fields and Steve Tavaglione on sax, Gregg Karukas on keyboards, and David Benoit and Barnaby Finch sharing the acoustic piano spotlights. With such a formidable lineup Kelley realizes he must give everyone a chance to show their chops, and he carries this texturing off quite well. Particularly exciting are Karukas' organ solo on the soulful blues number "Chester and Bruce," and improvisations by Benoit and Tavaglione on "Twilight Serenade." As a player/writer Kelley is also flawless, creating some of the tightest and catchiest melodies of the early smooth jazz era -- the sweet, breezy "Harvest Dance" and rhythmic "Timepiece" proving particularly delightful. Jazziz chose this as one of smooth jazz's best of all time, with good reason.

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