Jeff Kashiwa – Play
(Native Language – 2007)
by Paula Edelstein
Jeff Kashiwa launches his fourth release for Native Language Records with PLAY and you better believe that he lives up to the title in every sense of the word. The chart-topping saxophonist reunites with his band Coastal Access for this exciting documentation of his highly acclaimed saxophone technique and songwriting skills. In addition to longtime members Allen Hinds on guitar, Melvin Davis on bass and Dave Hooper on drums, Kashiwa invited legendary Yellowjackets keyboardist Russell Ferrante on piano and Fender Rhodes and Lenny Castro on percussion.
This CD is hot. It opens with a :56 second improvised “Intro” that recalls Kashiwa’s most traditional jazz chops before launching into “The Lucky One,” an upbeat, danceable jam that is sure to have his fans humming the hook and chair dancing if not up and dancing in the aisles wherever Jeff is PLAYING! The retro soul flavored, sizzling horn-stacked funk jam titled “Forever,” features Coastal Access while the three opening tracks (after the prologue) feature Tim Stewart on guitar, Alex Al on bass and Teddy Campbell on drums.
However, no matter who is bringing on da funk, they PLAY one heck of a set. This is melodic, focused happy music and ranks among Jeff Kashiwa’s best work. These cats can PLAY and besides, this set is just in time for fun in the summer sun!