Artist: Phil Denny
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Soak It Up
Shaken Not Stirred
The First Time
If you read mPhil Dennyy review of Crossover, the 2012 debut release from saxman Phil Denny, you may recall that I stated that “At the end of “Suite Party,” the last track, you hear the footsteps of one presumably heading out of a room and closing the door. You can just imagine it’s Denny reaching the conclusion that this project is ready for delivery and walking out to enter that world of jazz, a world so receptive to the kind of vibe he brings. I’d say he reached the right conclusion.” With the release of his sophomore release Upswing, you’ll be inclined to agree that he’s reentered the jazz portal with serious purpose, bringing new fire and confidence.
Driving forward with the help of such glowing talent as writing mate and keyboardist Nate Harasim, guitarist Nils, bassist Julian Vaughn, and UK pianist Oli Silk, Denny proves once again that this jazz thing is his niche, and he intends to lay full claim to it. Just listen to tracks like the burners “Soak It Up” and the title track, the sassy mid-tempo flirts “Flutter,” and “Stand Together” with bassist Vaughn, the sexy, romantic “The First Time” with vocalist Confidence Killion (who also shares writing credit on this one) and the soft tender deep-reaching “Amorous,” and the snappy finger-poppin’ “Valere.” Yes, this is Phil Denny’s thang, this C- jazz thing. Make no mistake about it.
Based on his debut album, I could sense that the second time around for Denny would prove to be an experience not to be missed. Now I’m willing to bet that many more such albums lie in the bright future of this promising saxman. – Ronald Jackson