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Jaared: Hangtime

Smooth-jazz saxophonist Jaared’s sophomore release, Hangtime (Marimelj) is a collection of groove-heavy tunes that spotlight the Washington, D.C.-born artist’s muscular yet melodic sound.

Tracks like the funky opener, “Make It Happen”-the theme from the syndicated television talk show 8101-and the bouncy “Search Light” have a strong urban flavor, but there’s quite a bit of stylistic diversity on this album. The haunting, pretty “Ibiza” features delicate Spanish guitar by Ken Navarro, while on “Sensation,” Jaared multitracked his saxes to create a horn section that soars over an unhurried groove. Guitarist Peter White provides some gentle acoustic guitar accents on the bright “Happy Times,” and Jaared and guitarist Stanley Cooper perform an affecting duet on Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love.” Hangtime includes a spellbinding live performance of “Foreward: I Love You,” a track from Jaared’s 2001 debut album, Foreward, and he ends the album with his distinctive version of the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

Originally Published