First Listen: Smooth Jazz Alley takes us for a "Ride"

(May 31, 2019) A friend started pianist and keyboardist Marco Montoya down the musical path that eventually led to the foundation of the group The Smooth Jazz Alley. That friend gave Montoya a copy of a CD by the late smooth jazz saxophonist George Howard; the fusion of Howard’s creativity on sax and the R&B infused arrangements appealed to the keyboardist who developed an interest in smooth jazz.

That love of contemporary jazz flowed nicely into Montoya’s longtime interest in R&B, pop, rock, as well as the decades long work with keyboard and piano player with San Francisco based Latin bands.

(May 31, 2019) A friend started pianist and keyboardist Marco Montoya down the musical path that eventually led to the foundation of the group The Smooth Jazz Alley. That friend gave Montoya a copy of a CD by the late smooth jazz saxophonist George Howard; the fusion of Howard’s creativity on sax and the R&B infused arrangements appealed to the keyboardist who developed an interest in smooth jazz.

That love of contemporary jazz flowed nicely into Montoya’s longtime interest in R&B, pop, rock, as well as the decades long work with keyboard and piano player with San Francisco based Latin bands.

Montoya was a music veteran by the time he along with guitarist Stan Evans released the aptly titled Been a Long Time Coming in 2016. Evans retired from The Smooth Jazz Alley in 2017, but maintains a connection with Montoya through his work as a writing partner. In the meantime, drummer Kevin Lewis joined the group, and they released “Let’s Ride,” the new single from The Smooth Jazz Alley.

Montoya and Lewis showcase a rapport on the breezy “Let’s Ride” that belies their short time together. Lewis’s drumming provides a solid base for the creative flights that Montoya and the other soloists engage in throughout “Let’s Ride.” Check it out here.

By Howard Dukes

Smooth Jazz Alley - "Let's Ride"

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