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Steve Oliver: Positive Energy

Smooth-jazz guitarist/vocalist Steve Oliver says that his music is about making people feel good. Everything about his sophomore release, Positive Energy, reflects that philosophy, from the optimistic title to the primarily upbeat compositions to the CD’s postcard-pretty artwork, which depicts blue skies, flowers, placid water and Oliver playing his guitar on a sunny beach. This isn’t the most emotionally profound CD you’ll hear this year, but it’s a charming and easily likable one. With his dexterous playing, knack for creating catchy melodies and unusual, highly flexible vocal accents-which can range from scat to beatbox-Oliver has crafted an engaging collection of compositions.

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