Release Date:
February 24, 2009

Reviewed by:
Elizabeth Ware

Back In The Day is Jeff Kashiwa's first solo project with Shanachie, seventh overall, and follows The Sax Pack CD (2008 - Kashiwa, Kim Waters and Steve Cole – also on Shanachie).  Produced by Chris Parks, Kim Waters, Dave Kochanski, Rodney Lee, Kashiwa, Back In The Day features long-time band members, Allen Hinds and Melvin Davis; Dave Kochanski who played keyboards for the Rippingtons and was in Bamboo Forest with Jeff.  There are ten original tracks – a rare and refreshing thing these days - nine written or co-written by Kashiwa.

Opening things up is the radio-friendly "When it Feels Good," written by Kashiwa and fellow Sax Pack-er Kim Waters. The more groove-oriented "You're The One" follows, featuring Kashiwa on tenor sax and Dave Kochanski on keys.  This one turns into a lot of fun toward the end.
Chris Parks and Kashiwa wrote and perform on the very funky and fun, "Creepin."  Parks' lays down the groove on this one, and Kashiwa has a great time playing tenor sax over it.  "Free Flyer" another Parks/Kashiwa track, moves into a completely different direction.  Parks lays down another great grove on the bass, but Kashiwa's soprano sax is light and soaring.  "Somethin' Real" brings back the funk with John James on vocals; Kashiwa on tenor sax; Parks on bass, guitar, and keys; and Bruce Flowers on Wurlitzer and Organ. 
"Meet You There" written by Jeff and fellow Sax Pack-er Kim Waters, is another radio-friendly tune with some nice chemistry between Waters, Allen Hinds and Kashiwa.  Rodney Lee, Melvin Davis, and Allen Hinds lend a hand on the funky, soulful track, "The Attraction."  Chris Parks and Kashiwa get together again on the down-tempo, sensual "Baby, Come Over," and soulful title track, "Back In The Day."

The CD closes with "Honesty" - a beautiful, ethereal track highlighting Kashiwa's soprano sax – a nice way to end a solid CD.