Jonathan Fritzen is back with Fritzenized, arguably his finest release to date!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
A long standing beef with artists that walk on the smoother side of the contemporary street would have to be that the differences are about the thickness of a sheet of paper. With Fritzenized, Jonathan Fritzen pulls from a rich sonic color palate that allows true melody out of the jazz witness protection program and pushes the expected boundaries of the smooth jazz genre into a unique personal hybrid that is both inventive and engaging on a myriad of levels.
Cameo appearances are made by Paul Taylor, Gerald Albright and A list vocalist Laila Adele. Perhaps the most surprising appearance would be that of straight ahead European trombone master Nils Landgren. Truth be told, very little hear that doesn't work magnificently including some meticulously placed vocals from Fritzen. While some of his contemporaries have been told by either their wife or record executive that they can sing (and they can't), Fritzen does more than an admirable job holding his own.
A rich somewhat ambient sound with a slight urban groove smoldering just below the surface, Fritzenized is indeed a winner!
Tracks: Fingers On Fire, Euphoria, A Funky Night, Enchantment, Celebration, Sailing Away, Guacamole, The Jungle, Kiss Goodbye, A New Beginning.