Trumpeter Michael C. Lewis has an impressive list of credits to his name, having performed with artists such as Pharoah Sanders, Isaac Hayes, and De Le Soul. He’s an expert musician, and following his 2010 debut album Reflection, which received solid reviews, Intimate Journey is an interesting and varied blend.
Stylistically, Lewis ranges from contemporary jazz-funk to electronic music and soul. The opening track, Houston Nights, has excellent guitar work from Andrei Carrier and Lewis’s trumpet provides a smooth and engaging melody. The third track, A Moment, is a slow and soulful mid-70s Isaac Hayes style piece, including funk guitar and a reverb-drenched string section, with a modern electronic twist.
On Make Me Say It Again Girl, Lewis provides vocals over a contemporary R & B style backing track. The title track Intimate Journey, also features Lewis’s vocals, this time singing a sonorous chorus line, supported by a heavy, electronic bass. On the seventh track, Soulful Atmosphere Lewis switches between trumpet and flugelhorn, providing a nice contrast with a picked guitar line played by Billy Spaceman Patterson. It’s refreshing to hear contemporary electronic music played with such originality.
This album is very accessible, and will be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in jazz, funk and soul. The mixture of genres is done in a creative and interesting way, and the effect is strengthened by Lewis’s musicianship. If you want to try something cool, relaxing and a little bit different, then Intimate Journey is well worth a listen.