Urban Jazz Coalition - Contempo


The Urban Jazz Coalition are Jim Bridges (drums), Ben Sherburne (tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, flute and backing keyboards), Brandon Howard (keyboards), Phil Raney (electric bass), Joe Gothard (guitars), Hector Maldonado (percussion) and Lee Savory (trumpet), who doesn't play on their second album. The first album of this group I listen to was "Into The Night". No question, the band found my interest. While this album was selled over their website and some exclusive sellers in the net, their second album is a Jazziz release. Nevertheless informations about this album are hardly to find.

Starting with U-Bop The Urban Jazz Coalition shows a funky side with saxophone dominance. Ben has played in several sax overdubbs.

Brandon Howard introduces into The Wizzard with some laid-back piano chords preparing for Ben Sherburne's awesome soprano sax solo. 

San Juan Nights, already known by their first album and certainly the most-played tune of both albums, is a Latin flavored piano piece. San Juan, the capital city of Puerto Rico, is also one of the centres of Salsa music. This tune evokes imaginative pictures of a drive along a beach boulevard in San Juan in the sultry summer night.

After Dusk is a slow-tempo melody with piano runnings and trills in the upper octaves and a nice keyboards background.

January features Joe Gothard's distortion guitar accompanied by Ben Sherburne 's sax as the leading instrument.

Milesfication, a tribute to Miles Davis, has a strong Fusion Jazz character.

Nosotros means "we" in Spanish. Joe Gothard's distortion guitar gives this tune a rockish touch. Ben Sherburne 's sax gets a raw blow.

More into Smooth Jazz is Angel. Warm keyboards and sax sounds are mixed to a contemplative tune to dream about.

Jamocha? What is Jamocha? The name of a horse, a java compiler, a shake, a rum 'n budder cake? No, it's the next tune of this album. More sax and percussion.

Noches Calientes (Hot Nights) features the special guest Christian Howes on electric violin. An uptempo tune with extensive solos of Christian Howes supported by Ben Sherburne's similiar soprano sax.

Contempo demands to be contemporary. But this album isn't the stuff Smooth Jazz radio-stations are broadcasting nowadays. The Urban Jazz Coalition have kept their unadulterated originality.