Chris Cortez, guitar and vocals; Jeff Mills, drums; Sam Bruton, piano; John Wooton, percussion; Edwin Livingston, bass; Larry Panella, tenor and alto saxophones and flute; Humphrey Davis, Jr., tenor sax and vocals; John Brinson, organ; John Reid, fluegal horn; and Billy Bargetzi, trombone
Besides covering material as diverse as "Sweet Georgia Brown," Lazy River," and "Avalon," Cortez wrote five of the twelve tunes on this CD. Based In New Orleans, Cortez reflects that influence in his choice of material on this recording. His vocals are smooth and expressive throughout and project Cortez's sense of humor and fun with the music.
The opener is an original entitled "My Way Is Better" dedicated to control freaks and the lyrics are catchy. "Everyday I Have The Blues" is a Jazz version of this blues standard and Cortez croons along with Humphrey Davis, Jr. contributing vocal backup and sassy saxophone solo. The Ray Charles composition, "Georgia On My Mind," is given a samba treatment and Cortez displays a fluid guitar style. The lyrics composed by Cortez for "Bad Attitude" relate to a musicianís life and are humorously rendered. "Manha de Carnival" features Panella on flute in a nice cover of this Brazilian tune. "Trouble With Larry," is a beautiful poignant tune and Cortez's splendid acoustic guitar work is augmented by lush horns.
This CD is highly appealing for its fresh approach. It is a first-rate effort that will leave you smiling and feeling good.
by Dorothy L. Hill