Les Sabler - Sweet Drive


“This is an important record for me and I put everything into it. There were no compromises,” said guitarist Les Sabler about his fourth album, Sweet Drive. You can take these words seriously.

Montreal born Les Sabler soon recognized that a move from Canada to Florida would be positive for his professional future. A strong fostering was his graduate studies at the University of Miami Jazz Department. Les' musical  influences are Larry Carlton, George Benson, Lee Ritenour and Wes Montgomery, but his music also draws from a variety of other facts outside the guitar realm.

After his debut album Hidden Treasure (1990) followed Time For Love (1995), and Bridge The Gap (2003). Although time is getting harder for all musicians Les' confidence in his talent and success is unbroken. In 2005 Les received nominations for Best Guitarist and Best Album at the inaugural Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards. Certainly more important is the economic success and the recognition of audience. Les is not the Golden Boy like Robbie Williams, but his steady efforts bear fruit. He is animated when performing and has shared concert bills with such artists as Lorber, Spyro Gyra, Richard Elliot, Michael Lington, Diane Schurr and Fattburger. Les has reached this necessary status of popularity.

Les' new album Sweet Drive (2007) was produced by bass player Brian Bromberg, a guarantee for quality. Les has only written one song (Food Chain), all others were composed by other musicians and somehow Sweet Drive is a journey through music history.

Starting tune is a sweet rendition of Stevie Wonder's You Got It Bad Girl. Les Sabler has assembled one of the finest group of top notch musicians. Eric Marienthal performs together with Les the lead melody on sax, while Gary Meek paints the decoration on flute. Brian Bromberg delivers the dark acoustic bass, Jeff Lorber the keys. Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Alex Acuna (percussion), Rahsaan Patterson and Toni Sruggs (background vocals) join this hall of fame.

Keyboardist Allon Sams, one of the producers of Bridge The Gap, composed the title song Sweet Drive. Les performs brilliantly like a guitar God. Also excellent the legendary Seawind horns, on this recording Jerry Hey, Gary Grant, Bill Reichenbach and Dan Higgins.

Daydreaming was one of the strongest songs, Aretha Franklin wrote and sung in her long career. The song was first published on her album Young, Gifted and Black (1971) and later copied by hundreds of artists. Les' interpretation is without any doubt outstanding and full of great moments, especially I like Gary Meek's magic flute.

Young guitarist Travis Vega, who just has released his sophomore album Just Let It Flow (2007), wrote the awesome song Club Street. An up tempo tune with a hooking potential, best suitable for a single release. Travis comments: "Club Street was on my first release "Through The Valley", which was released locally through out California in 2004. Through a mutual connection, Les heard Club Street, liked it and wanted to put it on his latest release. Club Street combines,
Chill, Hip-Hop and Cool, to create almost this Funk infused hook, while the melody sits on top of the groove, giving equal attention to both. No doubt that Club Street is a toe tapper and is designed for the stage performance."

Can You Stop The Rain was a major hit for Peabo Bryson (1991). The vocal part is featured by Richard Jackson and Toni Scruggs, while Les' nylon-string guitar is leading the melody to a higher level.

A nice touch of R&B and smooth jazz delivers Les with I'm Not The Same. Gary Meek performs with great passion and Rahsaan Patterson and Toni Scruggs do more than a duty. Rahsaan is just out on the road promoting the September 25, 2007 release of his new CD, Wines & Spirits. He also made waves in Europe with some popular Soul collections. Don't forget his appearance on U-NAM's latest album Back From The 80's.

Struttin' is a solid guitar session in a tight packet. Time for dreaming  do you find in the appealing ballade Who Am I? Les has a great talent for expressing feelings through his guitar strings. In perfect contrast stands the following up tempo Twenty-Two. Les' high energetic guitar play is answered in Gary Meek's excessive sax performance.

Biggest Part Of Me was written by David Pack, member of the group Ambrosia, for the third album One Eighty (1980). It was one of the strongest ballade of Ambrosia and is certainly worth to be covered in the way Les does.

Food Chain is Les' own composition, a track with a bluesy mood. The Seawind Horns and Ricky Peterson's B3 convey that imagination of the 70's. Pianist and guitarist Rocky Ramirez, who is in the moment building his own career with smooth Soul and R&B songs, has written the tender Could You Be. Les has so much soul in his guitar performance.

The closing track is an instrumental version of Daydreaming. Much space for all LA musicians to shine.

With all these top notch musicians from the LA scene Les Sabler cannot do wrong. He delivers finest smooth jazz artwork perfectly designed for your hi-fi equipment.





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  • Title: Sweet Drive
    Artist: Les Sabler
    Year: 2007
    Length: 0:60:14
    Genre: Smooth Jazz
    Label: The Music Force Media Group

    01 You've Got It Bad Girl [4:20]
    02 Sweet Drive [3:36]
    03 Daydreaming [5:58]
    04 Club Street [3:49]
    05 Can You Stop The Rain [5:01]
    06 I'm Not The Same [4:16]
    07 Struttin' [4:58]
    08 Who Im I [5:21]
    09 Twenty-Two [4:08]
    10 Biggest Part Of Me [4:44]
    11 Food Chain [4:03]
    12 Could You Be [4:18]
    13 Daydreaming (Instrumental) [5:43]