Soul, funk and jazz
Reviewed December 2008
By Bradley Leighton
Pacific Coast Jazz: 2008
To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.
For a guy who doesn't write much of his own material, San Diego flautist Bradley Leighton nevertheless should never run out of songs to give his patented once-over treatment. His fourth release follows the lead of his predecessors by turning in some stunningly tight soul-jazz covers of popular hits of different styles.
This go-round, Hall & Oates' "She's Gone" is turned into a percolating R&B dance number. Two tracks later, he and his band rework the 1967 country classic "Ode to Billy Joe" into a low-sizzle jazz-funk piece.
Leighton plays flute with an aggressive, muscular edge it's a unique style, but one he's honed to perfection and one that works well with his style of uptempo jazz-tinged soul.
Producer/keyboardist Allan Phillips wrote five of the nine songs here, and his originals fit in nicely with the covers. Leighton and Phillips have crafted a fun, energetic style that sits somewhere between old-school R&B and contemporary smooth jazz whatever name you want to give it, it's a fun listen.
Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).