REVIEW - STEVE COLE - “Moonlight”
Cole’s previous five CDs were tailor-made for the airwaves and his climb has been swift. Now he returns with his label debut for Artistry Music and the CD “Moonlight,” a collection of some classic songs and standards. In some ways it’s a return to his roots of strings and woods wrapped around this killer punch that’s served as a wakeup for other sax players. This guy has always broken new ground by making Smooth Jazz sound alive.
His distinctive saxophone eases into this album of memory-tunes with lush orchestral arrangements from Michael Cunningham to find that spot where sonic enchantment happens.
The disc opens with the title track written by John Williams’ and displays Cole’s sax gliding effortlessly over the sea of dreams that’s locked firmly in all of us. It’s a place where the music and the listener become connected. Such a wonderful opening to a well thought out project with clever subtle interplay between piano and Steve’s sax.
`Undun,` the first single from the project, was a rock favorite of mine from Randy Bachman and The Guess Who. Here Steve’s stellar sax eases through a track. The interesting part is how this artist can breath new life into a tune that has been played million times by Classic Rock Radio. It reinforces my belief in the greatness of the power of a good song and its ability to inspire creativity.
`Cry Me A River` is another that has been covered countless times, and again, Cole`s re-jigs the emotions of the song via some great arrangements and passionate playing.
The disc ends with two timeless pieces of contemporary music with `The Look Of Love` followed by `Long And Winding Road` Steve’s sax accompanies you through the decades with music we should know the words to by heart. The melodies on the entire disc constantly remind us of the friendliness of great songs that touch each individual on a personal basis. On his new CD Moonlight Saxophonist Steve Cole has painted memories for all Smooth Jazz fans to enjoy…and…make new ones to. – by Paul Ericson