Crystal City

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
The way smooth jazz was evolving by the mid-2000s, it became increasingly hard for indie saxophonists to break into the kind of regular festival, package tour, and cruise dates that would catapult them to stardom. But with two albums on Billboard's Top Ten Contemporary Jazz chart and the same label that launched Najee and Alex Bugnon to stardom behind him, versatile Chicago native André Ward was still aiming high. With a soprano tone that flows easy like Kim Waters and Najee, he gets off to a promising start on Crystal City's sensual funk opener, "They Keep Calling Me"; as he takes the melody higher and begins improvising on soprano, Ward also imbues the lead instrument...
See more details below
CD
$15.35
BN.com price
(Save 4%)$15.99 List Price
Other sellers (CD)
  • All (2) from $12.59   
  • New (2) from $12.59   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
The way smooth jazz was evolving by the mid-2000s, it became increasingly hard for indie saxophonists to break into the kind of regular festival, package tour, and cruise dates that would catapult them to stardom. But with two albums on Billboard's Top Ten Contemporary Jazz chart and the same label that launched Najee and Alex Bugnon to stardom behind him, versatile Chicago native André Ward was still aiming high. With a soprano tone that flows easy like Kim Waters and Najee, he gets off to a promising start on Crystal City's sensual funk opener, "They Keep Calling Me"; as he takes the melody higher and begins improvising on soprano, Ward also imbues the lead instrument with sizzling alto and tenor textures. The emotional strength of that track would have made it an obvious first single, but the one actually chosen was the likable urban vocal tune that follows, "Wishful Thinking," which relegates Ward to a supporting role behind the Anita Baker-like vocals of Barbara Fowler. Just as Najee once did with "Najee's Theme," Ward makes a similar statement about his identity on the cool and simmering retro-soul tune "André's Theme," which features Yasha's cool Rhodes harmonies. Before getting back to the core of the disc -- his heartfelt, urgent, and melodic playing on any of his three saxes -- Ward makes the mistake of thinking that the EWI was still a hip instrument in 2007. His thumping shout-out to his hometown, "Chicago Here We Go," is a fun and whimsical piece that would be much more effective with a real horn taking the lead melody. This misstep is nicely balanced by asserting his right as an indie artist to actually lead with the flute on the sensual "Abstract," but -- yikes! -- why swirl it with the EWI? Although it's not the most unique tune in the set from an arrangement standpoint, Ward's alto passion on "New Orleans Lights" is a beautifully spiritual highlight. Indicative of Ward's renown among the elite of the smooth jazz genre are the appearances of keyboardist and songwriter Brian Culbertson, albeit in a background role, and bassist Nathan East on the dreamy "I Don't Want to Be in Love." One would think that Ward would have proofread before allowing the misspellings of Culbertson and co-writer/backing vocalist Marc Nelson to reach print. Despite a handful of flaws, Ward proves worthy of the big leagues on this collection, which perfectly fuses his Berklee College of Music jazz sensibilities with a love for cool hip-hop and retro-soul.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/5/2007
  • Label: Cd Baby
  • UPC: 802469095920
  • Catalog Number: 5637206176
  • Sales rank: 125,707

Album Credits

Performance Credits
André Ward Primary Artist, Flute, Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, EWI
Marc Nelson Background Vocals
Brian Culbertson Keyboards
Nathan East Electric Bass
Brian Thomas Trombone
Gordon Worthy Keyboards, Synthesizer Bass, Soloist
Andrew Sherman Piano, Keyboards, Soloist
Rohn Lawrence Guitar
Barbara Fowler Vocals, Background Vocals
Brad Young spanish guitar
Jeff Lockhart Guitar
Tyrone Chase Guitar
Brian Dunn Drums
Brockett Parson Piano, Soloist
Technical Credits
Marc Nelson Composer, Producer, Vocal Arrangements
Brian Culbertson Composer
Beau Huggins Executive Producer
Gordon Worthy Arranger, Composer, Producer, drum programming
Andrew Sherman Arranger, Composer, Programming, Producer, Engineer, drum programming
Craig Glanville Arranger, Composer, Producer
André Ward Arranger, Composer, Producer, Horn Arrangements
Yasha Barjona Composer
Jim Brick Mastering
Kenny Lewis Engineer
Wirlie Morris Composer
Anne Thomas Administration
Lynne Butkiewicz Art Direction
Charli Huggins Executive Producer
Ronnie Dividson Graphic Design
Chauncey Gemar Engineer
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously