Greg Manning – Sugar & Spice (2016)

Greg Manning - Sugar & Spice (2016)
Artist: Greg Manning
Album: Sugar & Spice
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Origin: Switzerland / USA
Released: 2016
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps

Tracklist:
Sugar & Spice (feat. Donald Hayes)
Round ‘N’Round (feat. J. Reid)
I Need to Know (feat. Adam Hawley)
When You Love Someone (feat. Gabriel Hasselbach)
Caribbean Breeze
Les Étoiles de Paris (feat. Patrick Bettison)
Esperanza
The Beauty Within
Happy (feat. Donald Hayes)
Before the Dawn

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Keyboardist Greg Manning had his debut with Soulciety in 1999. Next followed his albums The Calling (2010) and Dance With You (2014). His fourth album Sugar & Spice was released in July 2016 on Kalimba Music.

Most of the tracks are written by Greg with the exception of Esperanza and Happy. Greg performs on his album variations of keys from Rhodes, piano, organ, to Clavinet and Synth Bass. Further musicians on this album are Donald Hayes, J, Reid (sax), Eric Valentine (drums, hand claps), Ian Martin, Hussain Jiffry (bass, hand claps), Gabriel Hasselbach (trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone), Patrick Bettison (harmonica), Darrell Crooks, Adam Hawley, Terry Wollman (guitar), and Tony Moore (drums).

The fast paced Sugar & Spice opens the party with a kicking Donald Hayes on tenor sax and Manning’s breathing pulse on piano. Round ‘N’Round shines with a brilliant piano solo rising Greg’s jazzy side out of the stomping beat. J. Reid takes an honest jazz approach on alto sax.

I Need To Know presents guitarist Adam Hawley on an inspirational tune in the answer-question style with a romantic layer. When You Love Someone features trumpeter Gabriel Hasselbach in an epic theme. Nevertheless Greg jumps like a young stallion out of the self composed pen and begins to improvise. These flashing moments show Greg’s genius.

Caribbean Breeze melts virtuosity and rhythm to an irresistible flow. Les Étoiles De Paris (The Stars of Paris) is a composition with a classic appearance, stylish and timeless with an aura of melancholy. Patrick Bettison’s chromatic harmonica underlines this impression in a superb way. Esperenza is the Spanish word for hope. This piece is a cooperation between Greg, Terry Wollman and Richard Hernandez. Guitars and keys serve an effervescent swing.

The Beauty Within is a fine solo piano piece, an interlude with emotional depth. Pharrell Williams’ Happy is a top hit that was played non-stop in the clubs, bars, radios and elsewhere. Replay a song in a quite sucked dry condition, does that work? Well, such a bright and breezy cover version is ready to rock off. Before The Dawn features Greg as jazzy vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. A gorgeous ballad with an intimate approach.

Sugar & Spice is a soul filled album with an evolving sound. Stylistically not fixed offers Greg Manning passion, quality and variety in an amazing recording

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