Recent listening, current

Saturday, August 17, 2013

123. Wilton Felder / Forever, Always (1993)

Felder is a hard working session man on the bass and tenor who is deeply reverent of his roots in straight ahead jazz, soul, blues, and R&B. I'm down with that. But on the other hand, this funky, (thanks, Dwight Sills on bass) soul-influenced smooth jazz session is a snoozer. I'm not going to pan it because it's a very slick product with some uncanny melodies and remarkable consistency. Don't take me the wrong way because I like smooth jazz, soul jazz, and fusion. But when I turn on Forever, Always, from the very first note, I find myself looking toward the television for the weather forecast. You feel me? It's one of those records, and a very good one, at that. I find it to be good for the background, good music to listen to if I just want to relax because there aren't many surprises and rhythmically it's all at one depth. Felder's tone is very solid and downright enjoyable, but the music is thin on ideas and while it isn't uninspired, it comes off as routine. Sonically speaking, the mix is creamy and sounds equally at home on speakers or headphones. Did I mention I've retained this album in my iPod? There's a time and a place for everything. So if you're into smooth jazz, 80s soul jazz, or fusion groups without horns, this is the record for you. 

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