Jeff Golub – Do It Again

Jeff GolubJeff Golub
Do It Again

(GRP – 2002)
by Raymond Redmond

You can subtitle this one “The Smooth Jazz Mafia Goes R&B“. Golub and Rick Braun have teamed up here to do to R&B what Hidden Beach did to Hip Hop. All of these tracks are covers that have been jazzed up and stamped with the smooth branding iron (Hence, the title ‘Do it again’.) That’s probably why they sound so good… we all know the tunes so the artists had to focus on the performance. I particularly liked Stevie Wonder’s Jesus Children of America and Smokey’s Cruisin’. James Brown’s Cold Sweat is funky enough to please the old master. To Golub’s credit, he keeps it real with his up-front style preferring to lead the action rather than follow the groove.

Louis Conte contributes here and throughout the CD, particularly on the sweet rendition of Marvin Gaye’s Mercy, Mercy Me where Richard Elliot also makes a guest appearance. Gerald Albright also makes an appearance on the one track that was arguably a jazz tune in the first place, Eddie Harris’ Cold Duck Time. A very cool track it is, too.

I like this release. The performances are crisp and lively, and the selection of tunes is good, ranging from AWB”s Cut the Cake to Van Morrison Crazy love with a number of stops on the R&B trail in between. This is good riding music, good running music, good listening music. Not ground breaking, but very enjoyable and I think that’s what they were trying to do.

The only thing I wonder about relates to the title… considering the title that they settled on for the release, and the nature of the selections, why didn’t they cover the Steely Dan hit Do It Again???