Baltimore based jazz guitarist Ronny Smith has chosen the 20th
century as his field of activity. His discography includes the albums
Long Time Comin (2001), Laid Back (2002), Got Groove (2006),
Stated (2007), Just Groovin (2009), Can't Stop Now
(2013), and Shake It
Up (2017). His new album Raise The Roof is scheduled for
release on January 27, 2020. The releasing label is Skytown Records.
Ronny has written, arranged, mixed and produced all songs. Two
songs are covers. Ronny performs on this album guitar, keys, bass and
track 5 he is supported by Vincent James (drums) and on track 7 by
Scott Martin (sax). In the past Ronny assimilated the music
of his idols George Benson, Wes Montgomery or Joe Pass. Now he creates
his own style. He opens with Breaded Funk Well Done. Ronny
presents the finest ingredients of funk like the ducky rhythm guitar,
vintage organ chords and his shining guitar.
Day is a title that is often used in the smooth jazz world.
Ronny's composition showcases his virtuosity with a lot of guitar
running the scales up and down. On Me Time Ronny sketches
unerringly with precise chords the appealing theme. At this point it
should be noted that Ronny is a proven expert of drum programming, who
brings the rhythm authentically across.
With the title song
Ronny plays it safe and uses the George Benson style, but in a brisker
version. All summed up, Ronny tends towards acid jazz and heats up the
audience like you know it from guitarist Chris Standring. On Say
Again Ronny shows his jazzy and fluid guitar style with a
bluesy touch in combination with a sonic bass excursion.
On It creates an inviting atmosphere with an ongoing
flow. Cool Breeze allures with an attractive and colorful
Stevie Wonder flair featuring Scott Martin on sax. Brazilian
Dancer is an irresistible blend of Latin flavored Bossa Nova
and Django Reinhardt style.
Bill Withers has written the
song Use Me in 1972 for his album Still Bill.
The song is popular in the smooth jazz genre. For example Rick
Braun covered it on his album Kisses In The Rain (2001)
or Kirk Whalum on #Lovecovers (2017). Ronny successfully
replace Bill's vocals by his guitar, while drums and keys are
close to the original. Superstar is a hit, originally
written by Bonnie Bramlett and Leon Russell. The best known
interpretation is by the Carpenters in 1971. This version also
inspired Ronny to his re-interpretation.
album Raise The Roof really pops from the beginning to
the end. Still in full sprint sending goose bumps up and down you
soon be aware that this album is destined for a replay.
Buy the album
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Title: Raise The Roof
Artist: Ronny Smith
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Label: Skytown Records
1 Breaded Funk Well Done 3:51
2 A Brighter Day 3:15
4 Raise the Roof 3:25
5 Say Again 3:52
On It 3:24
7 Cool Breeze 3:44
8 Brazilian Dancer 3:00
9 Use Me 3:41
10 Superstar 3:38
Shake It Up