Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Alfonzo Blackwell: Sax You Down

Another artist going the two-CD route is saxophonist Alfonzo Blackwell, who also exhibits two sides of his musical personality on Sax You Down (Utopia). Disc one showcases Blackwell’s smooth-jazz side. The tempo grades from the bouncy opener, “Take One,” to the ballad closer, “Always There,” and in between are such noteworthy tracks as “Smooth Character,” in which Blackwell’s sax glides over a busy groove, and the plaintive “For Your Love.” Meanwhile, disc two spotlights Blackwell’s hip-hop side on tracks like “Looking Fine,” which mixes edgy sax harmonies with chimes and a thumping groove, and it includes remixes of four tracks from the first CD: “Dance for Me” cools down the tempo and emphasizes an irresistibly funky bass groove, while “Take One” adds a female rapper to the mix. Despite the different musical identities of each disc, it’s unclear why this is being marketed as a double CD; the two discs combined total a little over 60 minutes, which would have fit comfortably on a single CD. There just isn’t enough music here to warrant making this a double-disc set.

Originally Published