Having spent the better part of the last
ten years on the road with Brian Simpson, I feel particularly qualified
to comment on this artist’s talent. Most of the time, I simply
stand in awe of what he can do, whether supporting other
artists (including myself) so effortlessly or, as he does so beautifully here
on his second album for Rendezvous, Above The Clouds, stepping up and
taking center stage as the true and deserving soloist he is.
His last album, “It’s All Good” brought Brian into the game
with the smash #1 hit title track and this album, in my opinion, seals the deal
for him as one of the preeminent stars in the world of smooth jazz, with an incredibly
bright future ahead of him.
A gifted songwriter with an ability to really connect with a melody, Brian is
able to walk that fine line between musical adventurousness and accessibility.
And at the center of it all is his trademark touch on the piano. He plays with
such heartfelt emotion and sensitivity, while at times he lets us see that whimsical
sense of humor that is uniquely his.
Above The Clouds includes inspired guest performances by George
Duke, Wayman Tisdale, Kirk Whalum, Chuck Loeb and yours truly. One
stunning addition – a never-before heard solo from the late,
great Michael Brecker which fittingly closes the album (leave it to
Brian to bring this beautiful gem to us)–
quite simply, it will stop you in your tracks.
From the first note to the last, Brian Simpson takes us on a wonderful, satisfying
journey ‘Above The Clouds.’ I hope you enjoy your time up there as
much as I did.
– Dave Koz