This CD shows a different
persona of Steve
Miller Band guitarist
Kenny Lee Lewis, who plays tastefully on
a mix of original and cover tunes that lands
on the smoother side of the jazz tracks.
Revealing his fondness for the styles of Wes
Montgomery and Grant Green, Lewis’ sweet
tone and fluid playing, and the way he intersperses
his solos with octave and chordal
forays, are also squarely in the George Benson
camp, which is just what the funky
hip-hop grooves of his compositions “Conquistador”
and “Chicken Strut,” or the
classic “Valdez in the Country” call for.
These and other upbeat cuts are offset by
some cool and introspective guitar work
on “Diane,” Stevie Wonder’s “Creepin’ (In
my Dreams),” and also the fingerstyle intro
to “If I Only Had a Brain,” which shows yet
another aspect of Lewis’ style. The old-school
keyboard textures (Hammond B-3,
Minimoog, Fender Rhodes)—not
to mention an occasional flute
flourish—hark back to the sounds
of late-’70s L.A. jazz, which, besides
underscoring Lewis’ 35-year tenure
as a studio player in the SoCal area,
makes New Vintage a very appropriate
title for this album. New Folk.
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