Music icon Paul Simon’s new CD has been well received, and audiences on his summer tour are no doubt digging it. But they also may be thinking, “Hey, that sax player’s pretty good. Where can I buy his latest CD?” The answer is everywhere, as Andy Snitzer’s just released his first all-new CD in 12 years. (His CD before that, Some Quiet Place, was originally released in 1999 and remastered and offered again in 2006.)
Cool and sophisticated, Snitzer’s music straddles contemporary and traditional jazz but certainly leans toward pop and, especially here, chilled-out vibes. It’s all on “Marseille,” co-written with guitarist Chuck Loeb, the song a mystical, bossa-leaning beauty riding along with Snitzer’s laidback tenor. Another high-profile musician, trumpeter Chris Botti, joins in on “Mystique,” a bass-heavy midtempo track with synth-dub elements and Snitzer’s bouncy soprano.
It seems any instrumental song that used to be called a ballad is now classified as “chill,” but Snitzer does bring the Ibiza element into his groove-oriented numbers (“Bohemia,” “Love Song,” “Covenant,” “Earth From Above”), where repeated themes and an incessant backbeat are more prevalent than on previous CDs. Traveler is a major success for Snitzer, a cohesive and driven disc to be enjoyed by those looking beyond rote contemporary jazz.