It's time to look at Brian Simpson's
previous releases. His solo albums
Closer Still (1995), It's All Good (2005),
Above The Clouds (2006), South Beach (2010), Just What You Need
(2013), Persuasion (2016) And Something About You
(2018) have been instrumental in shaping the face of smooth jazz. With
All That Matters (2021), he adds another piece to the mosaic.
The pandemic gave Brian an opportunity to break
away from the daily grind and internalize what was actually important
to him. Thus, the album title is also the result and quintessence of
his own reflections. One's own family plays a major role in it, as
does music, of course.
Brian plays piano and keyboards as usual on his
new album, but also likes to take cues from other keyboardists like
Nicholas Cole and Oliver Wendell. Label mate Steve Oliver contributes
some musical ideas. Brian has won for his project excellent studio
musicians such as Michael White (drums), Alex Al (bass), Ray Fuller
(guitar), Brian Kilgore (percussion), Najee (flute), Steve Alanis
(sax), Ron King (trumpet), Roberto Vally (bass), Tony Moore (drums),
Yarone Levy (guitar), Dwayne "Smitty" Smith (bass), and Jim Pisano
The album opens with So Many Ways, that
perfectly combines harmony, atmosphere and a distinct melodic quality.
That melody is always king is of course a rather commonplace, which is
also true for the following What I'm Waiting For. A
clap-along piece as it is in the book.
The hip hop flavored Mystical features Najee on flute in a
modern arrangement. Influenced by the music style of Maze Sunlit
Sea shines with the same elegance and piano lead.
Yarone Levy won me over with his prestidigitation on guitar. A
Soft Touch is a great example for his mastery. Bonita
attracts with Spanish flavor featuring anew Yarone on acoustic guitar.
When I Found You gives love a chance. Written by Oliver
Wendell, who also plays keyboards on this track, the song speaks to
lovers with an emotional attitude.
When you love Ed Sheeran's Shape Of You, then listen to
Whisper To Me which instrumentally walks the Marimba Loop
approach. Daybreak gives enough room to dream. The title song
closes the album with another high-stepping melody and great musical
fineness between piano, guitar and sax.
Brian Simpson has hit the bull's eye with his album All That
Matters. Ingenious musical ideas meet proven musicians, making
this project a highly sought-after hit album.
Buy the album in all stores
Title: All That Matters
Label: Shanachie Entertainment
1) So Many Ways (4:07)
2) What I'm Waiting For (4:12)
3) Mystical (4:32)
4) Sunlit Sea (5:10)
5) A Soft Touch
6) Bonita (3:34)
7) When I Found You (4:14)
Whisper To Me (3:39)
9) Daybreak (3:50)
10) All That
It's All Good
Just What You Need
Something About You
Out Of A Dream