Patrick Lamb

The Closer I Get

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It's amazing the difference being on a major label makes in smooth jazz. When you're Boney James and Dave Koz, you're practically a household name. When you're Oregon-based saxman Patrick Lamb, you might be almost as worthy, but even a great indie project like this may have a hard time getting national radio play. No matter though creatively. Lamb isn't breaking any new ground, but he's hip, funky, melodic, and his songs hit the mark -- definitely Wave-worthy. He pays tribute to his obvious influence Grover Washington, Jr. with a simmering version of "Mr. Magic" and breezes beautifully through a balmy take on "Europa" (gliding over crisp harmony lines by electric guitarist Jay "Bird" Koder. Originals like the bouncy, light funk "French Quarter" epitomize the sugary joys of Lamb's writing and playing, and he shows spark as a producer with clever horn doubling on "Wildwood" and a sax/violin duet on "Essence." He should probably avoid silly vocals like "Isabel" in the future; the Latin inspired track is strong, but he's not much of a singer or rapper. Also, wouldn't a more readable liner note section help the listener discover who's playing what?

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