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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.

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Jazz Reviews on JazzNet247 Radio Europe

Artist : Roger Beaujolais

Album : Sunset

Year : 2017

Label : Stay Tuned

roger beaujolais

Personnel :
Roger Beaujolais : Vibraphone | Robin Aspland : Piano | Simon Thorpe : Double Bass | Winston Clifford : Drums

The first time I heard vibest Roger Beaujolais was in our local jazz club in the UK and I immediately was impressed by the interplay of his piano trio and his smooth playing on his self penned songs as well as some classic standards. One highlight for me in this session was when Roger was adjusting the vibe’s setting for a few moments and his drummer Winston Clifford stood up and did an impromptu ‘ a capella ‘ with his pure voice which surprised me even more that Roger hadn’t featured him on a vocal during the session or on any of the four CDs that I bought at the gig.

However one of the albums was ‘ Sunset ‘ from 2017 and it includes self penned tracks plus songs from Bobby Hutcherson ( Little B’s Poem ), Cole Porter ( I Love You ),and Jerome Kern ( Yesterdays ). The vibraphone is by its very essence a cool and melodic instrument and whilst it is mainly a polyphonic instrument like a sax or a trumpet, it can be played with dual hammers and exact constructions which offer harmony and semi chord offerings. However Roger’s playing is distinct and the pedal sustain resonates through the speakers like a fine red wine tickling your palate.

Roger has a wonderful piano trio backing, and their interplay is quite outstanding on ‘ Benign Tonight ‘ with Robin Aspland, Simon Thorpe and Winston Clifford in particular offering some impressive syncopated drumming.

The title track ‘ Sunset ‘ is a mid-tempo delight which captures the mood perfectly of a setting sun and the peace and tranquillity of a summer’s evening. The four musicians share the space with equal aplomb and offer delightful solos. Robin Aslpand is playing a grand piano in this studio outing which resonates so perfectly with the vibraphone, he is clearly one of the foremost pianists in the country and a joy to listen to on his piano solos.

This is the perfect album to sit down and unwind to after a strenuous day with a glass of your favourite tipple at the ready, it is stylish, rhythmic and beautifully arranged by one of the UK’s finest musicians.

‘ Sunset ‘ is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to CDs by Roger Beaujolais and his latest outing ‘ Barba Lunga ‘ from 2019 features a trio setting with Alessandro Pivi on drums and Giacomo Dominici on double bass.

Roger told me recently that he plans to release a tribute album to the great vibest Milt Jackson in the late summer / early fall time of 2020, and I for one will be eagerly awaiting this new outing, not only as a jazz lover to listen to myself, but also as a radio producer who would like to share this Professor of Music at The Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance with our listeners and offer them the opportunity to enjoy the peace and serenity that is a vibraphone.  ^

Review by Wes George
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Similar Artists -
Lionel Hampton, Mike Manieri, Roy Ayers, Milt Jackson, Dave Samuels, Gary Burton, Bobby Hutcherson, Cal Tjader, Red Norvo, Dave Pike, Victor Feldman, Mulatu Astatke, Karl Berger, Vince Montana

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