Since many years Roger Smith is a constant guarantor for quality in the smooth jazz scene. He has played for diverse recording artists that includes rock star Jeff Beck, R&B vocalist Gladys Knight and country legend Willie Nelson, and has served as music director of Coke Esconvido and Club Nouveau. Today's he maintains with his significant Hammond B3-sound the group Tower of Power.

His heritage is jazz and his home contemporary jazz. "Years ago, an old blues organist told me that I should learn to play any style of music to round out my own style," Roger says. "It's been a challenge for me to go from rock to country to blues to jazz, but it has really honed my particular quirky style." As he concentrated that style on jazz, he worked with some of the giants in smooth jazz, including Peter White, Rick Braun, Phil Perry, and Gerald Albright among many others.  He started his solo career with the album My Colors (1996), followed by Both Sides (1999), Consider This (2000), Just Enough (2004) and now Sittin' In (2008). Worth mentioning is his side project Rosco's Place (2004), Roger's Hammond B-3 based, live sound teamed by Dave Garibaldi (drums)  and Ray Obiedo (guitar) with help from Mike Kirkhouse (bass), Steve Self (drums), Mick Valentine (guitar) and Mike McKinnon (bass). A comprehensive review of this album is linked below.

In the tradition of many contemporary jazz albums Sittin' In starts with the title song. Roger let his fingers jump over ebony and ivory. Darius Babazadeh (sax) and Roger on the Hammond B3 adds brilliant accents to the main melody.

Roger pulls full throttle on Just Friends. This is pure Hammond B3-fun! Multi-awarded soul singer Taalib Johnson a.k.a Musiq Soulchild or Musiq wrote this song for his debut album Aijuswanaseing in 2000. Monet and Larry Braggs perform the vocals on Roger's lively rendition.

D-Man's Groove, written by Dave Repace, presents intelligent synth chords on a heavy urban beat. The romantic ballade Isn't It Love features singer La Jon Walker and Carol J. Toca, two blessed and gifted talents.

The Salsa piece Fiesta is an outburst of rhythm and joy, a must for dancers. Mic Gilette on trombone and trumpet and Adolpho Acosta on trumpet are building an excellent horns section, while Carol J. Toca fascinates again with his mesmerizing voice. After my humble opinion the best song on this album.

Music Is Love is featuring singer Regina Espinoza and Indra. Regina regularly performs with a number of San Francisco Bay Area bands and vocal groups. The arrangement of the chorus has a special originality and Roger's piano performance is a bit of all right.

Gospel performer John P. Kee wrote Jesus Brought Me Out. La Jon Walker, Aladrian Elmore, Priscilla Harris and Felitha Dheaton prize the Lord with such emotion, fervor and soul to impress the sharpest of critics.

The sultry ballade Sweet Lady features vocalists Derek "DOA" Allen and Connie Law supported by the smooth sound of Norbert Stachel's alto sax. The original version was released on Tyrese's debut album in 1998.

Searchin' is a melodious turn around a theme, written by Roger and guitarist Ray Raymond. Ray has also cooperated with Roger on his previous albums. He is also member of the Joe Rosco band.

30 years ago I bought the CD Heart Break of the group New Edition. Can You Stand The Rain was one of the hits on this album written by dream-producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Tom Scott, Boyz II Men and Alexander O'Neil are further interprets with covers of this song. Roger Smith's first take was released on his album My Colors (1996) followed by the compilation Flavors of Jazz (1997). Roger is addicted to this song, quite comprehensible.

The song Bad Sneakers has also a history. The song was originally released on Stealy Dan's highly acclaimed album Katy Lied (1975). Roger's rendition is a slower version in today's smooth jazz style featuring Eddie M. on alto sax. Eddie is known by his performances with Prince, Sheila E., Paula Abdul and Stevie Nicks.

Thinkin' 'Bout You is featuring singer and guitarist Bobby Gonzales. He performed with Wayman Tisdale, Sheila E., Paula Abdul and Eddie M. A relaxed tune with an urban beat.

Roger Smith's new album Sittin' In is a something of everything. The project is a reflection of Roger's today's relations and creative circle. A worthy addition for all collectors of smooth jazz.