do we need on a hot summer day? Cool music! Mike Phillips is back with
"Uncommon Denominator". An album full of new ideas. More
than one hour playtime! The
Algematics "common denominator" command expresses a sum of
fractions as one fraction over a common denominator. But how
do we define "Uncommon Denominator"?
The album starts with the
interlude Once Again Mike Phillips. A
dark bass played by Travon Potts (Anastacia, Christina Aguilera),
Tandria Potts is announcing Mike who is playing his sax in
his own way.
Uncommon Denominator Mike explodes
like a firestorm. Mike pulls all the stops of overdubbing. Joel Whitely on
bass and Bennet Paysinger on Rhodes are assisting him perfectly.
Crazy is a superior mixture of turntable
hip hop, contemporary urban and smooth jazz. We are familiar with this
sound since "Unwrapped Volume One". Mike don't hesitate to
improvise along the scales in such a perfect style that I thought to
myself. Is this man born with a mouthpiece between his lips? All other
instruments on this tune were performed by Gary Haase. Gary worked
with the Brecker brothers ("34th N Lex"),
John Pizzarelli ("Sing, Sing, Sing"), Jessica Simpson
("Rejoyce") or Michael Bolton ("Only A Woman Like
You"). In his musical career as jazz artist he has made some
jumps to other genres. A real proof of his versatility.
Mike has his ear
close to the pulse of time, the Heartbeat of the
City. Groovy rhythm and Mike's dreamy sax are a stellar
highlight of smooth jazz. Jeff Lorber is the master of keys, drum
programming, recording and all necessary adds. Ron King gives some
nice brass with flugelhorn and trumpet.
It Takes All Night that doesn't matter. Feel the vibe of
R&B with "JR" Hutson (Drums, Bass, Guitar, Keys,
Programming), Trina Powell's sweet vocals and the marvelous Mike
could be the follow up. Slow and romantic, languishing and
Produced and recorded
by "JR" Hutson G-Money has the
typical Mike Phillips signature: Excellent overdubbs, vibrant tones,
improvisations and feelings.
Gwizdala is a Jazz bass player from NY. If one listens to his solo
album one is really searching the common denominator with Mike
Phillips. Don't Panic is the answer. Two
minds and but a single thought.
Are One is featuring Samir Elmehdaoui on 8 bar guitar and Jeff
Lorber on 32 bar organ. Old instruments with retro feeling, really
thrilling. Jeff is one of the rare producers who makes a good album to
a hit. One knows when an album cannot be better feeling this
is featuring Carl Burnett. This
guitar player has played and recorded with the likes of Branford
Marsalis, David Sanborn, Robben Ford, Boney James, Larry Carlton,
Hiroshima and the late George Howard. Spanish flavor ala Peter White
and Marc Antoine.
and Broadway is a further Gary Haase production. Named by
the heart of NY one is aware of the traffic, crowds of pedestrians,
surrounding shops and lights.
The funky Uptown
on a Saturday Night is featuring Jeff Lorber again. Mike is
playing on this tune besides sax an EWI. If you want to learn more
about electronic wind instruments read here.
Ivan Dupee from the
Chicago-based Dupee productions already produced Mike's "Just One
Take" and "You
Have Reached Mike Phillips".
Now he is back with Flow. A little
unusual but perfectly placed the vocal refrain.
music we trust, in Rex Rideout we trust more. Rex Rideout is the
in-demand producer since his collections "Forever, For Always,
For Luther", "Ridin' High" and
"Club 1600". On Brent's
Bounce we can listen to Michael White (drums), Dwight Sills
(guitar), Sekou Bunch (bass) and Rex (keys). Slow and funky.
U Had a Heart is
featuring Sherrod Barnes on
guitar. Sherrod performed with Jason Miles, Barry Danielian, Roberta
Flack or Cassandra Reed. An awesome duet of guitar and sax.
On the last tune Mike
& Michaella Michaella Mike's little daughter is asking:
"Daddy what that Uncommon Denominator mean anyway?" We know
the answer now.
Don't walk by. This album deserves
your full attention.