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About the Reviewer - Sheila E Ross

As a smooth jazz journalist, I sincerely support the smooth jazz genre, as I adore the sound and recognize the diligence and hard work artists and musicians place into their craft.

  sheila e ross

As an educator, I enjoy working with youth as an English teacher of eight years and see daily the strong embrace students have for music as well.

For this reason, I expose them further to the artistry.  Some students share sincere interests in musical careers so we dive deeper into the life and times of both current and late artists. Like literature, music is personal and shared from the human condition, so there is much to acquire.

To Learn More about Sheila Click here
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Artist : Raul Midón

Album :
If You Really Want

Year : 2018

Label : Mack Avenue

raul midón

Personnel : Raul Midón : Guitar and Banjo | Efrain Toro : Percussion | Bart van Gorp : Trombone | Annie Tangberg : Cello | Arend Liefkes : Bass | Peter Tiehuis : Guitar | Janine Abbas : Flute | Joke Schonwille : Harp | Jasper de Waal : Horn | Hans Vroomans : Piano | Leo Janaaen : Saxophone

For anticipative thinkers, the site of a rainbow illuminates as a beautiful band of color that invokes hope, optimism and a continued satisfying expectation for life.  The stunning shades appear—stimulate, and inspire us to “ride”. For two-time Grammy nominated, vocalist/guitarist Raul Midón, this is no mere flight of the imagination as Midón’s recent album release, “If You Really Want” currently ventures across his own personal multi-colored rainbow with another Grammy nomination. His first nomination comes with “Bad Ass & Blind” Artistry Music/Mack Avenue 2017 through his personal love for music, courage, confidence and a full-filling life.

This New Mexico born, singer/songwriter and multi-talented musician along with the Metropole Orkestra shares with us a theme of courage and hope with, “If You Really Want”. The project thoughtfully encourages and stimulates us consistently through ten tracks, starting with ‘Ride On A Rainbow’, ‘If You Really Want’ (title track), and ‘Sunshine I Can Fly’.

Track one, ‘Ride On a Rainbow,’ a totally fun, good feelings, up-tempo, lovable, spirited song places us on the adventurous ride, encourages us to detach from the every-day and simply ‘ride’! Midón invokes us to open our minds with a calypso sound.  His guitar play along with delightful horn and sax accompaniment places the rainbow right in front of us! It gives us hope! Where can we ride?  It is all about opening your mind.

‘If You Really Want’ (title track), comes across with so much honesty in both vocals and musicianship. It is smooth, warm, and engages the listener. This track invokes a smile for the smooth jazz listener!  The Metropole Orkestra comes forth here strong and supportive of Midón’s tone and vocal ability and radiates such importance to the album as it imparts major themes for the listener. Here Midón not only stimulates, he inspires and provides the confidence and courage for us to ‘do it’!  

His vocal sharing here is impeccable, clear, smooth, persuasive, engaging and ever so natural. This Holland rooted non-classical jazz Orkestra here comes across live, spirited with a jazzy sound accompanied with a lead guitar and Midón’s singing. “And if you really want, you’ll take the time until you find your wings to fly”.

‘Sunshine I Can Fly’ raises one to their feet to embrace this spirited calypso dance vibe with, “Sunshine, when your with me I can fly”. Midón’s vocal here is consistent, light, airy, beautiful convincing and for sure, a valid ‘pick me up’. His vocal range accompanies a powerful Latin vibe from the Orkestra. Here, it is all about the ‘sun’. The ability to fly, the ability to do more comes from the rays of the sun!  This track for sure broadens the range for typical smooth jazz listeners, and opens our minds to achieve more in both life and music!  ^

Review by Sheila E. Ross
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Jonathan Butler, Jose Feliciano, Raul Malo, Torcuato Mariano, Stephen Bishop

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