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Sam Cardon: Digability

Vivid, cinematic compositions spring to life on Sam Cardon’s varied, multiculturally literate Digability. Keyboardist Cardon shows a clear affinity for retro-soul on strutting, horn-packed tunes like “Give It Up” and “Mojo,” but his rootsy, from-the-gut sensibility doesn’t stop there. The veteran film and television composer taps Arabic roots for the swooping, bustling “Heliopolis,” which features Dave Weckl’s spiraling, heady drums as well as Cardon’s own clipped, stiff-fingered piano. The effect is modern excitement coupled with historic reverence. An equal respect for classic club jazz comes across on the delicate “Acquainted With the Night,” while the hypnotic, bass-singing “I Wish” recalls Sting’s best pop-jazz hybrids. Cardon proves to be a dexterous chameleon, dancing his piano lines over Weckl’s and Sheila E’s Latin percussion, and swinging out soulfully with the Tower of Power horns on the album’s title track.

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