Jeff Kashiwa – Another Door Opens

Jeff Kashiwa Jeff Kashiwa
Another Door Opens
(Native Language – 2000)
by Raymond Redmond

You’ve been listening to Jeff Kashiwa for years, wether or not you know it. Smooth Jazz saxaphonist Kashiwa spent ten years (1989-1999) playing with the ever-popular Rippingtons. His sax was the voice on so many of the more popular Rippington tunes, and now he’s on his own with Another Door Opens. Jeff is joined in both the creation and the production chores by smooth jazz legend Jeff lorber, Rippingtons keyboardist Dave Kochanski, bassist Brian Bromberg and veteran drummer Ricky Lawson among others.

The first single (and first track on the CD) is Hyde Park, and it’s definitely the one they plan to take to the bank. Even if you don’t get the CD you’ll hear this one on the radio, it’s filled with the smooth sax lines and punchy-yet-smooth bass, punctuated by the orchestra hits that is one of today’s formulas for getting smooth jazz air time. Fortunately the cast is good and the performance is good so the song is good. Because of you is another that will be on new-age radio, as will Back To Love. Every now and then is a bouncy, retro jam that sounds like it came from an old Lorber album (lorber co-wrote and plays on it).

The title track has an airy feel to it, featuring Russell Ferrante on piano and Steve Oliver’s fine guitar work. Dream Within a Dream is all silky smooth sax and flutes from Kashiwa with a short-but-sweet cameo by guitarist Marc Antoine. My favorite is The Power of Midnight, a seductive piece featuring Kashiwa playing the soprano sax. This is driving music. Put the CD in your car stereo and take a little trip… you’ll come back a Jeff Kashiwa fan.