For many years, saxophonist Warren Hill has been skipping the jazz fantastic with some of the most distinctive smooth jazz of its kind of the last 18 years. Most notably, Warren’s music ebbs and flows between the funkiness of R&B or mesmerize the soul with memorable romantic melodies. Since 1991 Hill has released ten noteworthy albums and has vigorously toured the worldwide jazz scene on a regular basis. His latest effort entitled ‘La Dolce Vita’ is Warren’s 11th release overall and continues a formula containing jam-activated rhythms coupled with sensuous melodic grooves. Released in June 2008, ‘La Dolce Vita’ also features a wonder list of renowned musicians to include bassist Nathan East, guitarist Paul Jackson, Jr., drummer Ricky Lawson and keyboardist Philippe Saisse to name a few.
‘La Dolce Vita’ is Warren Hill’s first CD since 2005’s ‘PopJazz’ release and contains eleven tracks of unadulterated smooth jazz in a variety of colors. Tracks such as “La Dolce Vita” and “We’ll Survive” provide a glimpse of Hill’s smooth side, while the remaining nine songs contain toe-tapping finger popping rhythms. Although Warren Hill’s saxophone is prominent throughout, the recording highlights the talents of his sidemen as well. At various times, each member of the band makes their presence known with voices that complements the album quite well. In addition to augment the instrumental grooves, Warren Hill’s vocal side comes into play. On one particular track entitled “Sunshine” Warren titillates fans and novices alike with his unique voice. If jazz is the message on ‘La Dolce Vita’, there is hope for smooth jazz as a viable form of entertainment.
Unfortunately for artists like Warren Hill, smooth jazz radio does not always provide a wide array of coverage for many musicians. Saxophonists such as Kenny G, Shilts, Eric Darius, Mindy Abair, and Dave Koz consistently chart while receiving considerable airplay. On the other hand, Warren Hill’s music does not fit the mold of a drab radio format; in other words, his music goes above and beyond pop elevator music. ‘La Dolce Vita’ is yet another indication of Hill’s versatility as an artist and without a doubt a great piece of work.
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