Another Door Opens
Native Language Music
Former Rippingtons saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa develops his own solo presence on Another Door Opens, an engaging set constructed with the production assistance of Rips keyboardist Dave Kochanski and the ubiquitous Jeff Lorber. Kashiwa gravitates naturally toward long lines and muscular jams, with emotion taking precedence over ornamentation. This strength plays out perfectly on hooky, swing out pieces like the single "Hyde Park," with its funky, big-horn sound, and the offbeat "It's Up To You," which finds the hornsmith navigating smartly cornered, frisky licks. Other tools in Kashiwa's arsenal elicit stellar results: Where his piping soprano guides a wistful, contemplative groover "Around the World," a harmonica-flavored EWI rips through the funk/blues "Best of Times." Perhaps best of all is the elemental "Dream Within a Dream," a spacious piece boasting piano riffs recalling Carole King's "Believe in Humanity" and spindly guitar accents by Marc Antoine. This slow and deliberate piece moves into a wonderful flighty passage featuring Kashiwa on fluttering flute, and spotlights duets between Antoine and Kashiwa which are moments of pure magic. These highlights go a long way to forgive the occasional urban saccharine pill like "Because of You," with a gaudy, wiggly keyboard atmosphere doing its best to undermine Kashiwa's fine, romantic tenor play.