Brandon Willis – Impact (2017)

Brandon Willis - Impact (2017)
Artist: Brandon Willis
Album: Impact
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Origin: USA
Released: 2017
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Tracklist:
All I Need 03:40
Fire It Up 03:56
Seduction 04:01
Impact 03:42
Melrose St 03:55
In The House 03:23
Its Always Been You 03:00
Next Friday 04:12
Bring It On 04:41
When Were Together 04:28

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Recently signed to M1 Records, and guided by the creative genius of the GRAMMY® nominated, Soul Train Award winning, producer Nate Harasim, rapidly emerging sax-man Brandon Willis has just released his latest CD, the excellent ‘Impact’. It is the second project from this Seattle native who made his recording debut back in 2012 with the appropriately titled ‘First Time’, a collection that included the extremely easy grooving ‘Stay With Me’. At the time I described it as being a track capable of establishing Willis as a smooth jazz player to be reckoned with and its subsequent success on the Billboard chart confirmed that here was an artist all set to impact the genre.

‘Impact’ is something that Willis has in spades and the first single slated for radio, the mellifluous ‘All I Need’, is a terrific showcase for his undoubted smooth jazz sensibilities. The aptly named ‘Seduction’ is another tune which entirely embraces the Brandon Willis signature sound that his liaison with Harasim has helped to cultivate and the fact all ten tracks are co-written by Willis and Harasim (who also plays keyboards throughout) is a glowing testament to the synergy that pulses between them.

The high-octane title cut has all the attributes needed to get any party started and much the same can be said for the big, ballsy and ‘in your face’ ‘Next Friday’ but, that said, neither prepare the listener for the changes in mood and tempo that ‘In The House’ lean on to both delight and surprise. Elsewhere ‘Fire It Up’ proves to be a number that glides along on a sultry mid tempo beat while later the shimmering ‘When We’re Together’ finds Willis delivering in a style which comes straight from the heart.

In terms of personal favorites, ‘Melrose Street’ shows off a more reflective side to Willis’ musical persona and he stays on the mellow side for the expansively romantic ‘It’s Always Been You’. Yet in an album crammed full of outstanding songs it is difficult to see past the sensational ‘Bring It On’ that checks every smooth jazz box imaginable.

‘Impact’ was released September 15 and with live performances already being booked, plus a national radio tour in the works, it seems certain that we will all be hearing a whole lot more from the wonderful Brandon Willis.