Blake's new release is jazz at its best!
Ron Blake’s “Sonic Tonic” is the most innovative and exceptional jazz release out right now. His unique fusion of r&b, funk and jazz with international sounds, really sets this album apart from traditional jazz albums. Part of the reason for this could be, is that it was produced by Me’Shell Ndegeocello, a very well-respected artist who has worked with everyone from Prince to the Rolling Stones, and grabbed nine Grammy nominations. You can definitely see Ndegeocello’s influence throughout the album, matching Blake’s killer saxophone with strong beats and exotic supporting instrumentation. Tracks like the mysterious “Dance of Passion” and the energy-charged “Chasing the Sun” are two of my favorites because of their pure excitement. For the more laidback listener there is the too cool “Shades of Brown,” and Willy Wonka inspired “Pure Imagination,” on which Blake plays with the theme from the classic film. The bonus disc of remixes is also amazing if you want to see jazz presented in a new and exciting form. No matter what your tastes, “Sonic Tonic” is a fun and stimulating album from start to finish, as well as a great example of the way the boundaries of traditional jazz can successfully be challenged.
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