Steve Kroon

In My Path

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It's always encouraging when indie labels put out rhythmically multi-faceted, multi-genre recordings like this one, where veteran Luther Vandross percussionist Kroon takes us on a tour of all the places and styles he enjoys listening to and playing when not on tour or in the studio. Fans of Latin jazz who like a little smooth jazz in the margaritas will enjoy the snappy repartee between Doc Powell's crisp electric guitar lines and David Sanchez's soulful soprano on "Lucrecia." Kroon delves into lilting Brazilian territory on "The Wind" (with Jon Lucien's seductive vocals) and then keeps that spirit going on a festive cover of Earth, Wind & Fire's "Sun Goddess." Mauricio Smith's honking flutes and a colorful horn section melody drives "Mais Que Nada," while "Samba Pra Min" dancing happily towards South Africa, where "Mandela Smiles" offers a spiritual journey both lyrically and musically (not to mention rhythmically) into the redemption of that country. Kroon's journey is a fun one, marred only by a few too many bland vocal tracks.

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