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Brandon Fields

Brandon Fields

Although Los Angeles saxophonist Brandon Fields is best known for his smooth-jazz sessions, the 42-year-old has always needed to feed his hunger for mainstream material. Brandon Fields & Strings (PRC Records) steps in with 11 standards and one original. “Smooth jazz has not really panned out for me,” he says. “Overall, I feel it’s a very limiting genre: it just promotes more sameness among players.”

As fate would have it, though, smooth jazz pied piper Kenny G was thinking along the same lines when releasing his Classics in the Key of G several months earlier. “Although I’m very happy that I feel they are different treatments and the whole vibe is different from his project,” Fields says, “there is still some trepidation when somebody comes out with an album of standards and we pick it up and see three of the same songs we recorded [‘What a Wonderful World,’ ‘Summertime’ and ‘The Look of Love’].”

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