Reviewed by Smooth Jazz
Long Distance album by Chris Jerome was released Sep 26, 2006 on the CD Baby label
Chris Jerome is a musician with no borders or boundaries. Sure, he is keyboardist and a regular member of Courtney Pine's band, U.K.'s most famous sax player. But it would shorten his opus to narrow Chris' personality on this fact.
With "Long Distance" Chris showcases the multi-facets of his musical life. That description sounds bombastic but you will share my opinion after a first audition.
Chris introduces us into his own world of music with Mistika. This is mysterious powerful electronical music on a driving beat. Chris has already performed onstage with Osibisa, Jazz Jamaica Allstars, Hugh Masekela, Maxi Jazz (Faithless) with The Soul Food Cafe (check out the album "Original Groovejuice"), Beverley Knight, Jamelia, Sister Sledge, Imagination, Emmanuel aka C-Swing, Keith Waithe and the Macusi Players, Kad Achouri and many others. But on his solo album he creates his own typical sound, jazzy synth solos embedded in melodious structure.
The title tune Long Distance is a voyage into world music with a jazzy overhead by Rob Lavers (tenor sax). Think of Yulara and combine it with heavy bebop.
Kinda Dukish is an uptempo cover of Duke Ellington's legendary hit transformed into a furious jamming Hammond B3 performance. Chris plays with excellent musicians, Cameron Pierre (guitars), Robin Bannerjee (guitars), Robert Fordjour (drums), Donald Gamble (percussion), Tello Morgado (percussion), Aaron Liddard (alto sax and flute), Rob Lavers (tenor sax). This tune makes appetite on more, especially on a live performance of this group.
With Throw It Down Chris gives a demonstration of his piano mastership. Combined with distortion guitars this is the real jazz rock.
A musician has to be ambivalent. He has to reinvent his music in every tune. Chris Jerome gives a remarkable example for this principle with Stronger State Of Mind. It's an awesome song in the tradition of Jon and Vangelis. With some promotional power this song has the potential of a big commercial success.
There is much melancholy in the laidback Gone But Not Forgotten. Chris creates with his breathtaking piano play his own magic, spell bounding the audience with a soundscape of notes.
The soulful song See If I'll Care is featuring Radhika. She is a singer and songwriter from London. Her songs are classic, crafted and personal with an emphasis on the lyrics, and she describes the music as Rock Soul with a subtle yet powerful emotion. An upcoming star.
Day In Day Out is a return to funky Hammond B3 mood. Aaron Liddard excels on flute.
On Confluence Chris guides us deep into a fusion of jazz, world music and rock.
There is so much experimental prowess. J'aime Mon Lit based on Gnossienne 1 by Eric Satie. Chris transforms the pointillist style of Satie into our century.
Chris Jerome's album is a musical gem. Although his music is accessible there is to discover much finess and depth.