The overall flavour of this CD is very much NOT smooth Jazz. Brad’s trumpet is very much of the Herb Alpert / Pharez Whitted / Rick Braun school of trumpetting, and the cover is highly suggestive of such leanings too; aping Rick Braun’s "Body And Soul" cover artwork to boot! The tunes are gritty, funky, and would appeal to jazz-fusion fans more than the current muzak that many artists are slopping out these days. What initially appealed to me was the punchy, no nonsense "The Hook Up" and "Straight Chillin’" which is the musical archetype of funky coolness. The main song on here for me is a real surprise, and the one I think will make you want this CD without delay. Cliff Dawson is a quality singer and songwriter and has added his weight to a lot of quality songs since the 1980s, and who could ever forget his "Don’t You Hide Away From Love" on Boardwalk from 1982?
"Haven’t I Told You" is over 5 minutes of the most excellent seductive and sexy jazz that you will find, and it will grow on you the more you play it. I can’t get enough of this track and it's great to hear the man back behind the mic after all these years; my compliments to Brad and Cliff for this song. My complaint is that we don’t hear enough of the man, although a recent email conversation with him alludes to this period of silence coming to an end! The cover of The Isley’s classic is given a rather nice treatment, but I fear all these sorts of songs are set up to fail as the originals are simply classic and really should not be touched. Brad has done his best to individualise the song and add his own stamp on it. To a certain extent he does this. For my money I think the best cover of that song was by none other than Whitney Houston. Incidentally, the vocalist is very nice and her name is Rosa Russ."Good To Go Go" is straight from the Pharez Whitted MoJazz style. " Be Mine" stands up rather well, and the trumpet really takes centre stage here which is a good thing as Brad certainly knows how to work it to best affect. The cover version of "Hold Your Head Up" works nicely in its eerie, acoustic setting and Cliff Dawson returns to satisfy the vocal demands. More traditional is the slightly Afro-Cuban "Cerviche". That we’re not going to the extremes of Miguel Quintano and the like suits me and the edgy, percussive sound is almost a throwback to the late 1960s. Very nice. Please check this release out, and especially the Cliff Dawson cut. Worth it for that alone.