“Hello and Welcome” is the opening message from the third release from this energetic rising sax artist. He brings as much energy and diversity to this project as he does to his live shows. Surrounded by a multitude of artists here, Marcus Anderson’s latest release is one that brings a lot to the table that will have you wanting more.
He hits the ground running with the infectious “All or Nothing” which features some great bass work by Julian Vaughn. This one never lets up, and the two of them play along very well. It is a great opener that keeps you on the edge of your seat with a climatic ending that will catch you applauding if you’re not careful! The opener leads into the snappy title track that gives full complement to the keys of Nicholas Cole. The hook is set, and you’ll be snapping to it right away. Anderson’s sax here is strong and is accented by Cole’s light keys. He slows down the pace a little as he gets “Back To The Basics” which features Vaughn once more. I really like how the two of them play off each other as it reminds me so much of our good friend Wayman. This comes off really nice. “Feeling You” is where he shines, and is strictly all Marcus. He shows off his chops here and allows his sax to shine.
Tour mates Four 80 East are featured on “M-Powered” that has a little more depth to it than some of the previous cuts. It has a mysterious sound that features Marcus on soprano while giving way to his band mates for some excellent solo work as well. The fun one here is the Michael Jackson remake of “Remember The Time.” As much fun as it is to hear this recording, this one really comes across well live. Complete with white glove and “moon walk”, this one usually brings down the house as we pay homage to one we lost way too soon. The single you’ve been hearing is called “85 to 95” featuring guitarist Nate Najar. The approach is a little more serious and the two of them play off each other well. They never get in a hurry, and the repeated chorus is played up well. He brings out the flute for “It Doesn’t Matter” along with some good sax work. This dreamy transition is a good one to chill out to, which shows the versatility of Anderson. He is underestimated as a flute player, and really shows what he can do.
The beat picks up somewhat with a “Transition” featuring the keys of Nicholas Cole once more. The driving bass is a good background for the smooth soprano of Anderson. I like what Cole brings to the studio here. His piano is light and lively, but never bogs down. It plays well with the soprano and they complement each other well. “So In Love” features Marcus on vocals as well as sax. This is a fun one that would be a good dance number. They bring vocals once more and slow it down a little for “Together Forever” featuring Marcel Anderson before giving way to Smokey Robinson’s classic, “Crusin’.” He closes Nowwith a multi layered tune called “Family Bond.” This one features Marcus Cole, and allows Anderson’s sax to shine to the very end. It is a good one to go out on, and closes the disc very well.
Marcus Anderson brings a lot to this project, and continues to develop as one of the hottest new sax artists on the smooth jazz scene today. His energetic, and always fun shows only showcase the talent that he portrays NOW. You’ll be hearing a lot out of this release this year, so be sure to catch a show as well as a copy of his new disc soon.