Michael C. Lewis is reviewed by Jazz2Love

Album Review: Intimate Journey from Michael C. Lewis

by Susan Frances
Album:  Intimate Journey
Artist:  Michael C. Lewis
Label: Cybervision
websites:  www.michaelclewis.com
www.karigaffney.com

Creamy jazz isn’t technically a genre on the music spectrum but listeners know it when they hear it, and it is indisputable that trumpet player/vocalist Michael C. Lewis has made a mold for it on his sophomore offering Intimate Journey.  A fusion of soul, soft funk, R&B, adult contemporary pop, and cool jazz, the recording finds diversity in the simple pleasure of staying within the confines of its single mission.  A mission to make music that soothes the soul, caresses the body’s rattled nerves, and relaxes the overactive mind.

The music is richer than the style of smooth jazz that is heard over the intercoms of coffee houses, shopping malls, casino rooms, or cabarets.  It is music that is conducive to intimate moments, being alone with a special someone or family.  It is music that sets the mood to be alone with one’s thoughts, reflecting and reminiscing.  Above all, it is music that touches some part of the human soul.  That part that wishes to be at peace with oneself and one’s surroundings.  With such a mission, there is no need to make music that is any more diverse.

Lewis’s vocals are like a warm shower over the listener’s senses in “Make Me Say It Again” with his bass-toned register basking one in comely vibrations.  “Miles To Go” is Lewis’ tribute to revered trumpet player Miles Davis.  Shrouded in reverberating trumpet notes that produce a tunnel-like effect, he buffers listeners in toasty soundscapes.  Moving the title track into a soul jazz atmosphere, Lewis cradles the number in gentle sonic swells and dulcet strokes, all performed, programmed and arranged by him.

He takes “Souful Atmosphere” into soft funk/R&B climates, modernizing listener’s impression of this genre, instilled in their minds from the music by the likes of George Benson, Chuck Mangione, and the honeyed tones composed by the couple of Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson.  Lewis’s savviness for producing romantic settings is displayed in  “Beside the Still Waters,” festooned in instrumentation with a strong magnetism, steeled by the caressing ripples of Lewis’s trumpet supported by a wall of sparkles emanating from the programmed keyboards with the light crackles of Billy Patterson’s guitar strings resembling a fireside aura.

Michael C. Lewis is prolific at composing, performing, and arranging luxuriating soundscapes that put listeners at peace.  He makes great strides in modernizing the soft funk/R&B/soul jazz fusion that his predecessors introduced to listeners in the later half of the 20th century. The beloved jazz hybrid is seeing a new awakening with Intimate Journey.

Musicians:
Michael C. Lewis – trumpet and flugelhorn
Andrei Carrier – guitar
Alva Nelson – piano
Jermaine “Beatdown” McQueen – drums
Walter Beasley – alto saxophone
Billy “Spaceman” Patterson – guitar
Gerald Trottman – keyboards
Victor Wise – drum programming

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.