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Brian Simpson: South Beach

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Keyboardist and Dave Koz bandleader Brian Simpson is simply at the top of his game. Combine the best and brightest from Joe Sample, David Benoit, Gregg Karukas and Bobby Lyle and you get Simpson: sterling acoustic piano instrumentals, a leader in bright melodies and an overall expert in the pop-jazz genre.

LeBron James isn’t the only one who has landed in South Beach. The tropical setting certainly influences Simpson’s music, which is often simply swaying and cool, like a gentle breeze from the Atlantic. In fact, there are only two upbeat excursions here. One is the swinging, Ramsey Lewis-ish “South Beach,” the kind of song Simpson has had big hits with. The other is “Lay It on Me,” which features the burning saxophonist Euge Groove.

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