Two celebrities of the music business are joining forces for a common
project. Keyboardist Brian Simpson and guitarist Steve Oliver bundle their talents for
Unified, scheduled for release January 17, 2020 on Shanachie
On the new album Brian performs piano and
keyboards, Steve Oliver guitars, vocals and sound design. They are
supported by Alex Al (bass), Eric Valentine (drums) and Ramon Yslas
(percussion). Guest musicians are bassist Larry Antonino and trumpet
player Rick Braun on Fired Up, guitarist Darrel Crooks on
Celestial Body and Café du Monde.
The album opens with the title song. Our main matadors have brought
their sound to absolute perfection. Everything interlocks and flows
smoothly. The Road Never Ends presents fresh vibes of both
musicians on a high professional base. Finally, the song leads into an
excellent call and response exchange between guitar and piano.
What The Wind Knows shows many elements
that are typical of Oliver's style. It starts with the full-bodied
underlining keyboard sequence, the text less, mantra- or scat-like
vocal accompaniment to the guitar and the rich guitar chords.
The aptly titled Fired Up is the first
hot shot of the album featuring Rick Braun on pure and muted trumpet.
Grounded on a tight and groovy rhythm Brian and Steve excel on their
instruments. Last Summer has the exhilarating vivacity that
is often found on Brian Culbertson's album. With guitarist Steve
Oliver as splendid complement, everything gets the finishing touches.
On Like No Other Brian showcases more of his piano wizardry.
The hip techno feel of the further musical environment sets the
appropriate framework. If the rhythm grips the listener, the melody is
also much easier to create, because the rhythm has a motivating
effect. The Way Home is a good example for this fascinating
Celestial Body conveys a Mediterranean flair full of sun and
joie de vivre. This relaxed attitude can also be found in Café du
Monde, where Brian glides playfully over the piano. Many of us
have already experienced that relationship that lives over distances.
A Distant Love combines happiness and melancholy. It is the
most beautiful moment in our life, when one realizes for the first
time that the beloved one returns your love. And Then You Loved Me
captures this moment tenderly.
Brian Simpson and Steve Oliver deliver with Unified a musical
fusion filled with passion and optimism. This is a fantastic start in
the new year that makes you confident about a bright future for smooth
(Brian Simpson) /
Website (Steve Oliver)
Buy the album in all stores
Artist: Brian Simpson & Steve Oliver
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Label: Shanachie Entertainment
2. The Road Never Ends
3. What the Wind Knows
4. Fired Up
5. Last Summer
6. Like No Other
7. The Way
8. Celestial Body
9. Café Du Monde
10. A Distant
11. And Then You Loved Me