Level 10 reaches that all important next level for the future of smooth jazz!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
I approach anything with the smooth jazz label carefully and usually with a raised eyebrow. The music itself has not evolved over time. Listen to smooth jazz recordings from twenty years ago and the difference between releases from then and now is simply moving from analog to digital technology, the music flat lined years earlier. Level 10 is and I predict will be a key player in the revitalization of the smoother side of jazz but with a global groove and world vibe that when done right elevates traditional smooth jazz into the elite class of contemporary instrumental.
Brazilian and Cuban beats married with a funky attitude and an intense lyrical sense of purpose that hearkens back to some of the early Spyro Gyra records but you won't find this band introduced to people via the Weather Channel! What makes the band work aside from the obvious prolific instrumental talent of this global jazz collective is that no one is attacking this niche in the market with the same type of panache that Level 10 brings to the table. The band is pianist Levy Deandrade, saxophonist Rex Freligh, bassist Yovannis Roque and drummer Ivan Diaz Avila. While some artists attempt to refer to their own Latin vibe while simply adding nothing more than a cowbell to their more than predictable arsenal, Level 10 lays down layers of flavor and musical colors one can hear. The sound of Level 10 is a mirror image of their stunning art work as they welcome you to the land of rhythm and groove with passion, flavor and authenticity that pays homage to their Brazilian and Cuban roots.
I could wax poetic about the musical makeup of the tunes here but the best recommendation is to go to http://www.level10band.com and check these gentleman out for yourself. The single "Imagine That" is out now with the release to street in February of 2014. Far from newbies Level 10 has been receiving rave reviews and I would be comfortable in saying the new release Vector will be the one that pushes this band to their full potential and their next level!
Tracks: Imagine That; Vector; Saudade Do Baiao; It's A Long Story; Party On; Given; Side By Side; Pra Voce; Traffic.