Tom Borton

Lost World

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It's ironic that the saxman named this album The Lost World because after this, he was rarely heard from again in the smooth jazz realm where he had such a promising start with 1990's Dancing With Tigers. This was his attempt to try something more interesting than typical radio fare and, at least artistically, it's an interesting work: a players project with a more groove-oriented, live-band energy. Most appealing are the interactions between Borton and cohorts Steve Allee (acoustic piano), Steve Recker (lead guitar), and Kevin Chokan (rhythm guitar), as well as cameo performances by acoustic guitarist Peter White and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter. The album begins with the smooth, soulful "Soul Central" but finds its real groove in the four part sax harmonics of "Swingopolis." The adventurous title track finds Borton blending alto, baritone, and EWI and draws upon his many varied influences, from Duane Eddy to Doumbek Arabic music and R&B. The fact that this one didn't receive the same audience as Borton's first gives credence to the oft-heard complaint about smooth jazz radio not embracing risk takers. Still, it's a shame he didn't capitalize on all the potential.

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