Jay Rowe

Jay Walking

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Positive Music has become an indie haven for lesser known musicians who, with the right exposure, could be every bit as renowned as their major label counterparts. Keyboardist Jay Rowe is a perfect example. His Jay Walking is one of those technically flawless smooth jazz releases, with ultra melodic cool funk dashed with enough improvisation to qualify as real jazz-much like Bob Mamet, who gets the glory Atlantic Records creates for him. Just as Mamet hits his peaks interacting with Eric Marienthal, on tunes like "Taylor's Song," Rowe delights in the dual power of his lively piano and David Mann's soaring soprano, which tackles the hook as Rowe switches to synthesized strings. On the wah wah guitar-tickled "Boat Ride," they switch roles, with Mann's percussive alto leading the verses before giving way to a high strutting piano solo. Rowe also plays cat and mouse with Robin Lawrence's electric guitar on "Old Friends." It's testament to Rowe's fine composing skills that covers of 60's classics "The Warmth of the Sun" and "Tracks of My Tears" really don't add much besides familiarity. He's not glamorous, but Rowe deserves your ears anyway.

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