December 2000

Roger Smith
Consider This
Miramar Recordings

Keyboardist Roger Smith clearly had a blast performing on Consider This. From the romping, funked-up, hard-jazz attack on a unique cover of Michael Jackson's "Remember the Time," to the wide-open road sound of the mellow but driving "Workin' It," Smith's spirit is contagious, inviting a wide range of listeners to share the joy. An accomplished and elegant pianist, Smith mixes sounds to disarming (and charming) effect. "Thinkin' Bout Ya," for example, boasts an adult-contemporary sheen, but derives energy from the dirty sound of crunching retro-organ at the root. "Full Moon" skates and sways with tinny keyboard sounds and the thwack of old style funk, while forwarding a detailed and appealing pop melody. Perhaps best of all is "Horn-afication," a genuine soul-jazz romp that finds the Tower of Power horns working out over thick layers of keyboards. On this weird and wonderful tune, Smith brings stiff-fingered traditional piano, squishy retro Fender Rhodes and clavinet to the party, swinging out in grand style.

Originally published in December 2000

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