Doc Powell – Cool Like That

Doc PowellDoc Powell
Cool Like That
(Heads Up – 2004)
by John Thompson

Kerry or Bush? Democrat or Republican? Classicism or Smooth Jazz? Guitarist Doc Powell produced and arranged this smooth jazz release that should be a hit with the contemporary crowd. The 46 minute release employs notables Kirk Whalum (ts) and Munyngo Jackson (perc), and all songs are written by Powell except the McCartney-Lennon classic Let it Be. Because every song belongs on play lists of smooth jazz radio stations, this is smooth jazz done right for the lovers of smooth jazz. Did I mention that this is smooth jazz?

Powell is Benson-like on the very fitting title, Cool Like That. Vocalist Gary Taylor lends his talents on You Mean More To Me. Hatujambo and To The East are slightly on the side of funky. Let it Be (reprise) features T.C. Bereal on vocals and the reprise of You Mean More… is performed as an instrumental.

Now for the debate: I want a drummer and a bass player on most, if not all, tracks.

I want a bass solo to consist of more than four notes (maybe he slipped one note past me).

And as for honesty, the perceived 11 tracks are actually 9, with vocals added to two tracks with little or no change made to the music. So, smooth jazz done right, or left? 1 ½ or 4 stars. It Depends.