Souljazzz (1995)

Rahmlee Michael Davis

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The album features fellow Phenix Horns member; Lui Lui Satterfield, former Earth, Wind & Fire member; Larry Dunn, Derf Reklaw Raheem and Kevin Toney.

Those who like conventional but still peppy and diverse horn records may find solace in Rahmlee's trumpet extravaganza "Souljazzz," which offers silky soul and lighthearted jazz in a variety of comfortable settings, from friendly pop covers to the requisite "Mandela" tribute. Rahm's lengthy resume as a sideman includes longtime stints with Earth, Wind & Fire and Phil Collins, so it was perhaps inevitable that even his greatest twists and turns are in the service of more playful and frothy R&B based fare. The amiable take on Collins' "Another Day In Paradise" epitomizes this mindset. Yet if you're patient and dig beyond the Quiet Storm breezes, prepare for the rewards of a dapper rendition of "My Favorite Things" and the free for all, seemingly spontaneous blues jam rehearsal "Blues Fa Don," which blends avant-garde trumpet improvisation with Joel Brandon's soaring flute and some monster drum over bass tracks. Scattered choice of material aside, the true charms of Rahmlee lie in his chameleonic blowing style. A bit like Miles in his ability to switch formats so effortlessly, he succeeds in creating a soundscape where no two tunes are quite the same. He may hold back at times to get some crossover attention, but it's easy to see a true jazz soul underlying his festive heart. ~ Jonathan Widran, All Music Guide

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