2005 / Gemini Sun
Review by Michael Debbage
For those of you who enjoyed the soft and uncomplicated instrumental excursion of All Around Me, get ready to change gears. Though smothered in the Smooth Jazz clichés, Keys has a decidedly warm and organic feel to it, encapsulating the spirit of David Koz’ 1996 Off The Beaten Path.
So let’s cut to the chase and direct the fans of All Around Me and skip to track 5 and listen to the magical memorable melody of “This Moment”. Embellished by the passionate saxophone of Mindi Abair, Loren’s composition will leave you enjoying, for the lack of a better phrase, the moment. Perhaps the lazy “Sunny Slide” and the jazzy keyboards of Loren Gold will appeal to you. Along with the impressive jazz fills of drummer Ron Wikso formerly of rock groups Foreigner and The Storm, the adaptability of this percussionist is just as impressive.
Here and in between we find the pizzazz jazz of Gold, such as the groovy rhythmic opening track “On Solid Ground” that is countered by Gold’s flighty keyboard work. Something more unique can be discovered courtesy of the flamenco feel of “4 My Baby”. The song title may not be very profound but quite the contrary musically, as Loren’s keyboards contrast effectively with the guitar work of Jaime Bonk, sending us on an excursion to the exotica.
However, the best is yet to come as the album concludes with two most palatable compositions. The first comes in the form of the piano layered “A Song For You” sweetly embellished by the cello work of Mike Beert. Even better is the finale, courtesy of the appropriately titled “Saying Goodbye”. This haunting tear jerker will overwhelm you with its passionate string arrangement along with the eloquent flute work of Nicholas Gunn.
Though there are several songs that will capture his All Around Me audience, Keys is definitely a further extension of Gold’s musical boundaries. A major key is that he is equally adept at composing, arranging and producing that one can only expect a bright future for this artist.
October 23, 2020