Thursday, January 24, 2008
On the strength of saxophonist Jimmy Sommers’ 2003 remake of Boz Scaggs’ “Lowdown” the bluesman found new life on the airwaves. On Sunset Collective Sommers uses his ample talents as a producer to present a wide assortment of musical styles. His strength has always been an insider’s knowledge of different genres and, like many young artist-composers, he has lots to say. Unfortunately, because of this, the album lacks focus.
For example, he perfectly understates “Out of Nowhere” for the chill market, adroitly grooves “Let Your Body Go” for the club and has a smooth jazz winner with “Happy Hour” featuring guitarist Paul Brown. On the downside “Besame Mucho” is too underplayed for any genre, “Kickin’ It” is a smooth jazz tune that doesn’t take off and the remix of Macy Gray singing “Lovelife” from one of Sommers’ previous CDs didn’t need to be included.
The big disappointment, however, is the minimization of his terrific sax playing; his singular sound is what brought people to him in the first place.