Guitarist Nick Colionne mixes it up musically, and he’s certainly done it again. Like Lee Ritenour, George Benson and, of course, Wes Montgomery, Colionne’s fluid style is pleasing to the ear whether he’s playing jazz or funk, ballads or uptempo tunes. He certainly gets to show off a range of styles, all anchored by his ear-pleasing hooks and delightful soloing. The title track, for example, offers a killer melody and inspired soloing, while “Steppin’ Back” is a shuffling tune written for proponents of a style of dance called stepping.
Colionne can lay down standard smooth jazz tunes such as “Until Tonight” and the exotic and swaying “Ports of Call.” But he’s certainly given his audience reason to cheer on tracks that should go over well in live shows, such as the bluesy “The Big Windy Cat,” “On the Edge” and especially “Godfather J,” Colionne’s tribute to James Brown. One constant that Colionne returns to his CDs are his vocal tunes, which highlight his deep and seasoned voice. The romantic “Melting Into You” was written with Jim Peterik of Survivor and Ides of March fame, responsible for “Eye of the Tiger” and “Vehicle,” respectively. Peterik also co-wrote “Hard Line,” a blues classic. Another vocal tune, “Anyway,” was written for Colionne by his cousin, Paul Richmond, who wrote the Manhattans’ 1980 R&B pop hit “Shining Star.” Colionne also offers an instrumental version of the tune. Finally, another constant, a tribute to Montgomery, is realized with “Headin’ Wes Before Dawn,” a dreamy tune in which Colionne imitates one of Montgomery’s most famous licks.