Release Date:
January, 2008

Reviewed by:
Mary Bentley

Don’t Cha Know is a collection of songs by Washington state based saxophonist Darren Motamedy.  These songs cover a wide range of tastes and musical flavors.  From jazz to pop instrumental, and from soft and moving ballads, to deep groove oriented funk, this CD has a little something for everyone.

This is quintessential smooth jazz, as represented through songs like, “Love You Just So Much,”  “Babadoodaht!” and, “You Make Me Feel Young.”  These songs have the melodious hooks and choruses that have become representative of the smooth jazz standard, and Darren’s playing lives up to that.

His cover of “Summertime” takes that song to a very funky place instead of keeping it the classic ballad that it is.  The change appears to modernize and update, thus creating a whole different song.  Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen when you choose to cover a song?

The aptly titled “Hip” is just that.  It’s one of the funkier tunes on this release, as is the foot tapping “Double Cache.”  “Going’s Gruv” is in the jazzy realm.  Listening to him play on these tunes, you just know he’s having a good time.  He ends the CD with the beautifully haunting “Lonely Hearts at Sea.”

I regret that it took me until his 9th CD to discover the music of Darren Motamedy.  He’s quite talented and knows how to play.  The Pacific Northwest has been keeping this talented player to themselves.  It’s high time they share.