Brian Simpson, mostly known as keyboardist and musical director for Dave Koz, couldn't have come up with a more perfect name for his new CD. It's All Good was released on July 26th and is Brian's debut release on the Rendezvous Music label. With guest appearances by Michael Lington, Marc Antoine, and Dave Koz, it's a Rendezvous family affair that is sure to please most everyone.
The CD opens with the very retro, mod-type title tune, “It's All Good.” This track features Brian in an all-out give-and-take with Dave Koz on sax. It's no wonder that this was the first single released. It's a very cool tune. “Here With You” is a terrific keyboard piece. It has a great combination of a slower, very moving piano melody and then an upbeat, groovy mid-section. “Saturday Cool” is very funky and has a great trumpet to kick it off and continue delicately throughout the track. This is definitely a head-boppin' song.
Turning to a quieter, almost retrospective tune, Brian has created “Twilight.” Again a trumpet, this time muted, adds to the feel, and a gentle guitar compliments the mood. The beat-driven “And The Story Goes” is led by both Brian's keys and a terrific sax sound. The sax really adds a different groove to the song. “Waiting” is very serene. A mellow, Latinesque guitar leads you into a completely romantic, peaceful keyboard track. It's a very pure sounding creation. “I Remember When” is another great keyboard/sax combination. This track seems to tell a story and gives a kind of old club feel with a great sax solo. Definitely a favorite of this reviewer.
A very fun track is “It Could Happen.” It's just a happy tune with Brian's lively keyboard leading you all the way through. The melody is upbeat and infectious. “Blues for Scott” is a tune that definitely takes you back to an earlier time in music. Great drum work, mellow piano, and a smoky feel. The CD ends with “Au Contraire.” This is also another upbeat tune, reminiscent of the trios found playing in late night jazz clubs. Amazing keyboard work.
This CD will no longer allow Brian to hide behind other musicians. He has proven to be a solid writer and performer. His creativity is showcased on this CD. A must-have musical experience because certainly It's All Good.
- Bonnie Schendell