What better way to start the new year with an album that entered the charts in 2018/2019.
Newcomer saxophonist Jeff Ryan has released an amazing debut with smooth tunes and an energy that rivals the best in the biz - Eric Darius, Darren Rahn and of course Dave Koz. It must be a Bay area thing. Everything that comes out of San Francisco is uplifting and soulful. The Tower Of Power influence is scattered through out Jeff’s 10 compositions including the lead off single ‘Up And Up’. A groovin’ track that makes you take notice of Jeff’s craft - it’s got soul and is reminiscent of Richard Elliot - an ex-Tower Of Power player. Keyboardist Greg Manning was brought in as producer and co-wrote seven tracks including the beautiful and captivating ‘Blue Wave’. Maybe an ode to Jeff’s upbringing on the west coast. Coming from a musical family (dad - classical concert pianist, mom - organ, grandfather - music teacher) he got started playing sax at the age of 10 after violin lessons urged by his gramps didn’t fair well. Jeff knew sax was it and it shows. ‘Sweet Spot’ is another uplifting song in the style of Earth, Wind and Fire it really showcases his style of playing - it’s jazzy, it’s bluesy and funky! All songs are original except Bruno Mars 2016 hit ‘Versace On The Floor’ that Jeff turns into smooth masterpiece. Just like the original but he makes that melody work with his tenor sax and some help from guitarist Adam Hawley. ‘J-Factor’ is just plain fun with it’s Sly Stone (another San Fran star) deep bass and funkiness, ‘Matter Of Fact’ with it’s ‘hand claps’ and invigorating sway of rhythm has gospel inspired grooves and it all wraps up with the acoustic guitar of Terry Wollman on the slow and romantic ‘Tenderly’ - a nice way to close the party. Embrace the talent of Jeff Ryan - he’s going places.
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