Welcome to the latest issue of Denis Poole’s Secret Garden, the page that offers a personal perspective on the very best from the world of smooth jazz and classic soul. Born in Cuba, composer and keyboard player Roberto Vazquez is without doubt a star in the making. Already a considerable force in the sphere of Latin music, this working musician who plays keyboards every week in the prestigious ‘Legends In Concert' stage show in Harrah's Casino on the famed Las Vegas strip, recently showed his contemporary jazz credentials when co-writing the song ‘Sand Dancers’ for Marion Meadows’ 2009 release, Secrets. Now he is spreading his smooth jazz wings even further with the release of his own excellent CD Between Two Worlds.
The flair Vazquez has for contemporary jazz is immediately demonstrated with the album’s opening tune, the wonderfully mid tempo title cut whereIsmael Vergara on sax grabs the attention. When sax duties transfer to Scott Klarman he helps to spread the magic of ‘In The Rain’ which has the sort of relaxed vibe that permeates much of the collection and continuously provides the perfect platform for Roberto’s sumptuous keys.
In similar vein is the enchanting ‘Simple Life’ where acoustic guitar from Jose Carmelo Medina only adds to the charm while elsewhere cool muted trumpet from Francisco Jose Cambeiro heralds in th
e delectable ‘Thinking Of You’. With rhythm and melody to burn, this song is everything a top notch contemporary jazz track should be and much the same can be said of the lusciously Latin ‘Feeling It Again’ which has the sort of easy grooving quality that never gets old.
Not only does Vazquez revisit the fabulous ‘Sand Dancers’ that he co-wrote and performed on with Marion Meadows but also calls upon this undoubted smooth jazz superstar to play sax for him. This deliciously Latin infused charmer sparkles like light on water and when Meadows returns for the understatedly hypnotic ‘Never Far Away’ his playing is complemented by outstanding percussion from Joshua Connolly.
A real standout of the entire collection is the easy paced ‘Going West’ where Jose Carmelo Medina again comes up big and although with ‘Solo Charlie’ (which he uses to close out the album) Vazquez cooks up something of a jazzy storm, the lasting memory of Between Two Worlds will be the sheer beaut
y of his magnificent music.