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Ken Navarro: All the Way

Guitarist Ken Navarro reveals dual musical personalities on All the Way (Shanachie). Much of the album features the kind of upbeat, warm-toned melodies that have made Navarro a popular smooth-jazz artist, like the breezy “It’s Up to You,” the sweet “Learning to Dance,” the brisk, Latin-flavored “Lost and Found” and “In the Sky Today,” which Navarro infuses with a gentle sway. The album also includes several tracks that are looser and more jam-based than most smooth-jazz tunes and feature the energy and inventiveness of live performance. Navarro’s guitar dances nimbly over a funk rhythm on the title track, an extended piece that opens as a snappy, bright number and then morphs into a soulful, steadily intensifying workout. The unhurried, loping rhythm of “Never Been to Paris” shifts into a soaring jam, complete with agile fingerwork from Navarro, and the guitarist turns in some fiery electric guitar lines on the funky workout “Play Don’t Worry.” With All the Way, Navarro exhibits an adventurous side of his artistry without sacrificing any of his well-known appeal.

Originally Published