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Marcus Johnson - Urban Groove (2000)

Jazz | Author: SELMER | 25-12-2011, 07:47
Marcus Johnson - Urban Groove (2000)
Artist: Marcus Johnson
Title Of Album: Urban Groove
Year Of Release: 2000
Label: Three Keys Music
Genre: Jazz / Smooth Jazz
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Bitrate: Lossless
Total Time: 57:30 min
Total Size: 359 MB


01. Pavillion [05:14]
02. Coming Of The New [05:09]
03. 18th Street Loungin' [05:43]
04. On My Mind [03:27]
05. Funk Master [04:51]
06. Sandy Point [03:37]
07. Is It Good To You [04:48]
08. Down Home [04:18]
09. Hormone [04:12]
10. Plush [05:51]
11. In You There's Me [06:19]
12. The Puzzle [03:57]


Marcus Johnson - piano, keyboards, synthesizer, programming;
Keith Ailer - vocals;
Marshall Keys, Kevin Levi - saxophone;
Stanley Cooper - guitar;
David Dyson - bass;
Kevin Stixx - drums.

Even if the title of Marcus Johnson's latest disc Urban Groove isn't as fanciful as that of his 1998 effort Chocolate City Groovin', the thread is clear: Like his chief influence George Duke, he's all about rhythm, writing nice melodies but always in the context of solid funk. That said, there's a certain irony in pegging the most appealing cuts from Urban Groove as those that digress from the typical pop-funk trappings. "Sandy Point," for instance, keeps the rhythm relaxed so that the lush piano hook -- so reminiscent of Bruce Hornsby's "The Way It Is" -- can shine through seductively. Even better, Johnson really hits pay dirt when he goes the porch-rocking blues route on "Down Home." Over a boogie-woogie piano foundation, Kevin Levi's sax -- simply serviceable to Johnson's keyboard lines on so many other cuts -- honks happily along with Johnson's chipper Fender Rhodes musings. The disc closes with Johnson stripped to the bone emotionally, accompanied only by an acoustic piano and quiet synth embellishments on "The Puzzle." Elsewhere, he keeps things grooving happily, though less remarkably. The undeniably catchy sax-synth hook of the opening track, "Pavilion," wears thin after repetition, while "18th Street Loungin'" is playful Joe Sample-flavored fluff. "Plush" has a cool, hypnotic groove with the contrabass playing of Walter Cosby and the drumming of Eric Valentine, but Johnson's meandering Rhodes melody doesn't build to any sort of heartfelt payoff. ~ Jonathan Widran

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    Related Releases:     
  • Marcus Johnson - Chocolate City Groovin' (1998)
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  • The Marcus Johnson Project - Inter Alia (2000)
  • Marcus Johnson - The Phoenix (2007)
  • Marcus Johnson - In Concert For A Cause (2008)

  • #1: twisterwes (6 December 2012 21:33)

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