Release Date:
February 26, 2008

Reviewed by:
Harvey Cline

Saxophonist Danny Lerman borrows a line from the old Kojak series and shows a lot of versatility his second time out with Meowbaby. The grooves here are different in a lot of ways from what you’ve been used to hearing. While the mixes are not too complicated, there are enough layers there to keep it interesting. The thing that I liked is how lively his horn is throughout the disc. Many of the songs are just plain too fun, while all along he brings in some well known artists to spice it up. There are several songs where the featured player is not always him.

He catches you right away with the title track. This is a good one to start off with. The music here is upbeat, peppy, and makes you feel good. There’s not a lot over dubbing and the music is clean allowing all the instruments to be shown. “Summer In A Hummer” picks right up where the first one left off. You can picture yourself on a carefree afternoon with the breeze blowing while riding one of those oversized vehicles. Light guitar and percussion push this one along to Lerman’s sax licks. The mood gets darker for “No Ordinary Love.” It is slow and deliberate in the delivery. The sax voices the title while giving way to a seductive ending.  Howard Hewett is brought in for the vocals on John Lennon’s classic “Imagine.” It is a clear rendition that plays well.

Get on your dancing shoes for the Latin influenced “South Beach Serenata.” The driving beat keeps pushing Lerman’s sax while accompanied by acoustic guitar. Hubert Laws brings in an awesome flute that gives the whole song a real retro feel to it. “Gotcha!” is funky from the start. The sax is finally added to the mix while only just a little at first, he springs into a full fledged hook that you’ll be humming long after this one’s over. I guess that’s where the title comes in! “Snoopy’s Dance” is another one of those light hearted fun songs that you could visualize that black and white canine dancing the day away. Heavy on bass and syncopation, “Saxsultan” comes across a little bit different than anything so far. The amazing part is how well Lerman plays over the chorus which appears light to some degree while soaring into the octaves. One of the songs that really attracted me to this disc is one called “Amadeus’ Kiss.” The intro is a classical like repetitive two bar violin solo that gives it the title. It is repeated throughout the song as Danny plays some of his strongest sax yet. The two are so far apart in their delivery that it really makes them both shine. I think you’ll like this one as well.

“Don’t GoGo There” (no that’s not a typo!) brings the fun beat back up again with a retro club feel as a background. There is a great hook on the melody that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. Randy Brecker breaks things up with one of those trumpet solos that’s made him so famous for years. Danny comes back in with some sax work that sounds like it comes from his live show. The fun continues with “Baby Goes to Market.” This one is light, lively as well as completely acoustic. The clean back beat keeps it moving along while the chorus is completely intoxicating with a little bit of “baby” thrown in for a good time. Go ahead and hit the repeat button. The pace slows down completely for the respectful “If Only.” Lerman’s sax seems to just hover above the other players. There’s just enough of a touch of piano to give it an accompanying feel. This one’s nice.

You may be wondering who this fairly new sax player is. I’d suggest looking for some of his material on Sugar Whiskey Records. It was a pleasant surprise when I took a listen. There’s several fun songs all the while some great playing by the artist. The sound is a little different than I’ve heard. Check it out soon.