David Matthews' second excursion into the world of small combo, bebop-flavored jazz comes as a sequel to the unexpected and spectacular success of Manhattan Jazz Quintet, wich received Swing Journal's 1984 Gold Disc Award as the #1 album in Japan for that year. Autumn Leaves reunites that same quintet, the jazz world's other MJQ, for another swinging set of classic material. This session continues the spirit of the first and improves on it in every way.
Something of a smooth jazz oriented answer to the label's 2003 straight-ahead compilation Jazz After Dark, this highly engaging two-disc set features oft-played radio hits that have helped define the genre's generally easy grooves and colorful melodies. For diehard fans, smooth jazz has always been as about much about lifestyle as music, and these tracks will no doubt remind them just why they became devotees. All the early classics (circa mid-'70s to mid-'80s) are here, from Kenny G.'s "Songbird" and Dave Grusin's "Mountain Dance" to George Benson's "Breezin'" and Grover Washington, Jr.'s "Just the Two of Us." These are supplemented by later hits like Boney James & Rick Braun's "Grazin' in the Grass" and Dave Koz's "You Make Me Smile." But it's not simply an objective survey of smoothness at its best. The collection also seems designed to promote artists in the Concord Jazz stable – David Benoit and Russ Freeman, the Rippingtons, the Braxton Brothers, Gato Barbieri, Eric Marienthal, and Cassandra Reed, among others.
This CD celebrates the arrival of the new millennium and also marks the group's 20 years as one of the pioneering infuences on today's Jazz/Funk scene.
Produced by Laurent Cugny and Daniel Richard for L'orchestre National de Jazz. Laurent Cugny - Bandleader. Ranks alongside George Gruntz as prime European contemporary composer, leader. His large orchestra is remniscent of Gil Evans big band in final stages; his pieces have quirky, unpredictable quality, as do his recordings.