Various Artists

More More More: Smooth Jazz Disco Hits

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Instinct Records was one of smooth jazz's most aggressively growing indie labels, extremely committed to the funky side of the street with artists like guitarist Chris Standring, veteran vocal/instrumental ensemble Shakatak, and Soundscape UK. Since it's obviously difficult launching new artists, the marketing folks at the label came up with an idea here that is either genius or will induce eye-rolling, depending on whether you love disco or not. If you do, this is a treasure trove, with perfectly rendered takes on dancefloor hits like Rod Temperton's "The Groove Line" (Soundscape UK), "Got to Be Real" (keyboardist Chris Ingram), "Boogie Oogie Oogie" (guitarist Joe Fuentes), and "Don't Leave Me This Way" (Nite Flyte). Andrea True's "More More More" is given a more offbeat, unusual, rhythm-based treatment by Exodus Quartet. Mostly, though, it's all synth, horn, and thump-thump-thump, and sometimes too close to the original to be unique, as on Shakatak's cover of Earth, Wind & Fire's "Boogie Wonderland," on which they play Maurice White's vocal part on electric piano and sax but have vocalist Jill Saward imitate Philip Bailey a little too perfectly to sound spontaneous. The most unique take here is Standring's muted, guitar-led twist on the one Bee Gees disco-era song that could please even the "Disco Sucks" people. He caresses "How Deep Is Your Love" with a shuffling groove and beautifully doubles the melody with an uncredited fl├╝gelhornist. For adult smooth jazz listeners trying to forget the disco era, this may not be the best way to meet some great new artists. But if you're open-minded, it's a hell of a lot of fun.

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