Chris Camozzi

Slow Burn

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A sideman well versed on very mainstream pop from his days backing Michael Bolton and Mariah Carey, Chris Camozzi's first two smooth jazz releases offered two very different approaches. Windows of My Soul went very introspective and emotional, while Suede was so happy-go-lucky one review claimed it was like the Disneyland of smooth jazz releases that year. He finds an strong balance on his Samson Records debut, Slow Burn, often following a light acoustic ballad with an edgier electric guitar jam, made all the more funky by Jeff Lorber's trademark percussive keyboard production. The opening track, "Curves," opens with a mystical synth-harp swirl effect before Camozzi shows his reflective acoustic persona and way with gentle improvisation over a mid-tempo pitter-patter percussion pattern. "Snack Shack" has a strong, in-your-face bass and would be a great Lorber Rhodes tune even without the sly duet between Chrisses -- Camozzi's crisp electric lines matched note for note by Botti's sly muted trumpet. The same idea works also on the acoustic romance "Midnight Rendezvous," followed by the throbbing blues-rock blast "Phatt City." "Tommy's Joint" is a blistering free-for-all with Camozzi rocking alongside a lively horn section. The title track blends the best of these two Camozzi approaches, with Camozzi in a graceful mode on the electric over a Lorber shuffle groove that seems ready to explode at any minute.

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