Level 10 brings together fusion, smooth jazz and a smoldering samba to chart a new and exciting course for contemporary instrumental music!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
I have yet to speak with an artist or group that has been thrust into the smooth jazz collective that was thrilled with the notion. I use the phrase only as a point of reference as Level 10 and Together do just that. A unified band with a unified sound, contemporary Latin instrumental! While their contemporaries will toss in a samba beat, a cowbell or timbale and claim a Latin influence, this south Florida band brings an authentic Latin sound and fuses their own cultural DNA with progressive fusion and a deceptively subtle softer side that is far more than the typical ear candy being pumped out by what is left of a dead radio format.
Artistic comparisons are inherently unfair but think Pancho Sanchez meets Dave Weckl. Level 10 welcomes you to the land of rhythm and groove. There is a smoldering intensity that runs just beneath the surface of both originals such as "Piranha" and a foot to the floor reharm of "Watermelon Man." While a masterful blend of Latin rhythms with a more western contemporary flair, the co-conspirators residing within the band are all first rate and could easily transfer their harmonic skill sets to virtually any other contemporary act working today. While the more familiar "smooth jazz" artists are making a living rehashing tired grooves and offering up essentially different versions of their last successful release, Level 10 continues to redefine their sound, their groove and their lyrical direction.
This is not "chill" music as that would indicate a natural passivity of sound. Level 10 is music you hear with your feet and feel in your hips. Why this band remains an Independent act is a mystery.
Check it out for yourself:
Tracks: Bala Com Bala; Caqui; Watermelon Man; Infinity; Together; So; Salsalito; Piranha; Saculejo.
Personnel: Levy Deandre: Piano & Keys; Brent Wahl: Bass; Dave Reinhardt: Drums; Rex Freligh: Sax; Ignacio Martin: Percussion.