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Joey Sommerville
Like You Mean It

Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
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  Like You Mean It is a descriptive title for this CD because Joey Sommerville plays the trumpet as if he really does means it with every note. He also shows us his versatility by playing keys, acoustic guitar and bass. The man has his groove in more than one area.

Some special guests appear on the release including Phil Davis (keys), Wayman Tisdale (bass), Marion Meadows (soprano sax) and Phil Perry (vocals). They all contribute nicely to the overall production and compliment Sommerville's trumpet playing suitably.

The opening track "Johannesburg" is befitting the name. The harmonies in between the music reminded me of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. "Follow Me" has a smooth jazz and contemporary sound with a funky backbeat that stays with you and appeals to your sensibilities and inner funk-jazz-fusion child to give it another spin. "School Boy Crush" is spotlight time for Mr. Wayman Tisdale on bass. Does he ever lay down a funk-filled beat on this track and he doesn't take too much away from the star of the show on the horn even though the bass is so strong that it sounds like the lead instrument. In the same instance, they do a call-and-answer on their respective instruments and follow each other very well. My favorite track is the title cut, which is currently burning its way into people's ears as I write. Earmarked for a single, it is a splendid opportunity for people to get an introduction to some of the hottest jazz beats hitting the airwaves right now.

You not only hear jazz, there is some blues and even some reggae interspersed amongst everything else, "House of Gold" being a primary example. To say this release is musically divergent is quite an understatement. You will also hear some familiar tunes such as "My Father's Eyes" and "School Boy Crush" (The Average White Band version may come to mind).

I did not hear anything on the album that was lacking in production value or talent - any of the key ingredients that make or break you on a recording. This is a complete success and anyone with an ear for jazz that leans towards instrumental runs, should check out this outstanding release.




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