Eric Marienthal – Sweet Talk

Eric Marienthal’s Sweet Talk is Smooth Jazz at it’s best. Featuring the likes of Jason Miles, Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb and Dave Kochanski Marienthal set out to create something fresh on this CD. In some ways he has succeeded by stepping off of the smooth jazz train and onto the smooth jazz platform. The music is still smooth, a little slower and more studied, but still rife with signature Marienthal chords and lines. Uptown, the opener and first radio single is very Urban-AC, but not the best cut in my opinion; that honor falls to tracks like the sweet Secrets, the pumping Nickel Plated and Eric’s cover of the Stevie Wonder classic Tell Me Something Good featuring vocalist Cassandra Reed.

Chuck Loeb‘s primary contribution to the CD, Moonlight slows down the pace and lets Eric stretch out a bit; a feeling that is carried on by the title track Sweet Talk. Penned and sung in his native tongue by Ivan Lins, Caprichoso leans to the Afro-Brazil end of things. Lins actually recorded his parts in Rio De Janeiro, and the beauty and purity of this track lend greatly to this CD release by helping / allowing Marienthal to shed his ‘smooth jazz’ apron for a minute. Marienthal is also joined by bassist Will Lee, guitarist Dean Brown and drummers Chris Parker and Gene Lake.