Gary Palmer - Love Me Again (2015)

Gary Palmer
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Love Me Again, the new project by Florida based saxophonist Gary Palmer, presents listeners with a nice blend of instrumental and vocal R&B, with a dash of jazzy creativity thrown into the mix. The 10  track album showcases Palmer as a creative improviser on the sax who plays with energy. He is clearly the star of the show, but he avoids the pitfall of overplaying and dominating the proceedings.

There are two reasons for this: First, the tunes on this 10 track project are short in duration, with eight of the 10 being less than four minutes, with about half of them featuring vocals. The best of the tracks that feature singing include “Yes I,” a love ballad that incorporates melodic and harmonic allusions to Earth, Wind & Fire’s “That’s the Way of The World,” and features Palmer’s high range tenor vocals.

Love Me Again, the new project by Florida based saxophonist Gary Palmer, presents listeners with a nice blend of instrumental and vocal R&B, with a dash of jazzy creativity thrown into the mix. The 10  track album showcases Palmer as a creative improviser on the sax who plays with energy. He is clearly the star of the show, but he avoids the pitfall of overplaying and dominating the proceedings.

There are two reasons for this: First, the tunes on this 10 track project are short in duration, with eight of the 10 being less than four minutes, with about half of them featuring vocals. The best of the tracks that feature singing include “Yes I,” a love ballad that incorporates melodic and harmonic allusions to Earth, Wind & Fire’s “That’s the Way of The World,” and features Palmer’s high range tenor vocals.

The short and very sweet “Love Me Again” is a track that will leave listeners wanting more – in a good way. The track opens with Palmer sax playing over an R&B bass line for nearly a minute before the vocals ease in. Palmer reenters with a solo before engaging in a little call and response with the vocalist who is singing the song’s hook, “love me again,” to the fade.

“Stay With Me,” is an instrumental that occupies a similar space as  the aforementioned title track in terms of arrangement even as the track features a slower, funk imbued bass line and additional jazz influences from the keyboards and horn sections.

Love Me Again is a record that will likely find Palmer incorrectly cast as a contemporary jazz artist because of the album’s instrumental tracks. Really, Palmer is a talented tenor sax player who uses his training and jazz chops to make an engaging brand of vocal and instrumental R&B, and in a fair world Palmer tracks such as “Love Me Again” should have a place on UAC radio. Life, sadly, is not always fair, but music fans who find Palmer - through this review or elsewhere - will like what they hear. Recommended

By Howard Dukes

 
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