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Release Date:
Oct 20, 2009

Reviewed by:
Bonnie Schendell

Alan Hewitt’s new album, Retroactive, which was just released in January, is uplifting and anything but smooth. And with Alan bringing on board artists like Greg Adams (Tower of Power), Paul Jackson, Jr., Steve Madaio (Stevie Wonder) and Steve Oliver, how can this be anything but the perfect musical journey?

The first single of the album, “Shaft,” the Isaac Hayes theme of the 1971 movie, is getting plenty of play on many Internet radio stations, and while it’s a cover song, don’t even think it’s JUST a remake of the original. It’s now an instrumental piano driven tune. When you want plain old funk, then get into the groove of “All For You.” Gerald Spikes on tenor sax accompanies Alan on this totally old school vibe.

The title song has a catchy melody and features Steve Madaio on a muted trumpet and Brian Price on guitar. Alan Hewitt gives a great solo on Hammond B3 showing more of the raw talent this keyboardist has. “Nassau Blu” has a great feel that washes over you and offers TOP alum Greg Adams on this track.

“Hot Fun in the Summertime” has appeared in other recordings from Alan Hewitt, and is usually a staple at his live shows.  He brings a great new sound to this 1969 tune.  It’s fresh, but I would have liked to have heard something original instead of a repeat.  My only down turn on this CD.  “In The Works” has Alan on the vibes while Steve Madaio on trumpet, Will Donato on sax, and trombone player Steve Clark, work together as the Desert  Storm Horns. They collaborate again with Alan Hewitt on “Saturday Afternoon.” They provide a great background for Alan to lay down his melody.

“Amagine That” features Alan wearing numerous hats, taking on piano, vibes, and drums. He is very adept at tackling all of the musicianship in this song. Kicking up the tempo is “Big Bang,”with Alan and his band firing things up. Brian Price on guitar just totally rocks things out! “H2O” is the closing tune on the CD, and features special guest and good friend, Steve Oliver on guitar.  It’s always something special when these two multi-talented artists get together, and this is no exception.

Alan Hewitt's latest CD, Retroactive, is cool, funky most definitely his best offering to date.  Check this one out.