Urban Jazz Coalition - Long Street


The real base of Smooth Jazz are those artists which are constantly performing on hundreds of gigs and regularly releasing new albums. UJC is one of these groups and it is always a pleasure to review their records. Their newest project is "Long Street" showcasing the following members: Brandon Howard (piano & keyboards), Ben Sherburne (saxophones, flute, keyboards), Lee Savory (trumpet & flugelhorn), Joe Gothard (guitar), Phil Raney (bass), Jim Bridges (drums) and Hector Maldonado (percussion). 

The album starts with Rising Park. Lead instrument is the sax. No wonder Ben Sherburne has written this title. It reminds on tunes of "The Rippingtons", especially those together with Brandon Fields.

Momma's Eyes is a funky and hooking song.  Savory (trumpet) and Sherburne (sax) have a brassy duet with solos of both. The funky tone is delivered by Joe Gothard's guitar with short touches. Also impressing the keyboards in the background.

Just Believe showcases anew UJC's brass power. Savory's and Sherburne's solos are intensive but always smooth and accommodating. 

Something for the peaceful moment offers Intimate Journey. Brandon Howard on piano shows his brilliance.

Pleasure Seeker, the title song of Paul Taylor's album from 1997, is already a classic. Covered by UJC this song gets an absolute refinement. Especially real drums and percussion level this tune upwards. Remarkable the guitar part with echoes.

Nowadays Latin flavor is very popular. Luquillo Beach has a nice Bossa attitude.

We Fall Down is the first vocal song on the album. Friends of gospel music will like it. The song was written by Kyle Matthews. Kyle is a great writer of gospels which are performed by The Martins, Across The Sky, Avalon, Bob Carlisle, Gary Chapman and more. Most of you will know this song by Gerald Albright's album "Groovology".  On Gerald's album this song is mainly  performed by a female vocal. Here is the lead singer and tenor Quan Howell who is known by his work with Jon Secada and Sounds of Blackness ("Time For Healing"). This version shows more the original gospel character of this song as intended by Kyle.

Deeper into funk with Long Street. Average-White-Band-feeling and some timbales from Santana.

Jamocha is a good example for UJC's sophistical arrangements.

People Make The World Go 'Round was originally performed by The Stylistics on their debut album (1971), then by Michael Jackson for the movie track of "Ben" (1972). Since that time the song became a classic covered by Angela Bofill, Walter Beasley, Bob Baldwin, Ramsey Lewis, Joe McBride, Bill McGee, Marcus Miller, Phil Upchurch and hundreds more. I think this version is the longest one (11:37).

UJC, thanks for the new album. I had a lot of fun listening to it.