Jacob H. Carruthers III – The Jazz In My Soul – Album Review
Yeah! Let’s jazz it up this morning!
Meet Jacob H. Carruthers III, also known as “Trey.” In addition to making excellent, entertaining and listenable jazz – it looks like he and I have something pretty major in common right at this moment…though we come from different genres; it appears as if both of our times are NOW.
I say this, with many of you already having heard about or listened to my own latest solo project dropping just last week with the release of The Cellophane Heart – “The Dark Becomes The Light.” Comments began to come in from some extremely nice people that were now congratulating me on getting some of my own music out there after promoting the works of others for so long…but I’m not here to talk about me today…
I did find it extremely interesting to find his itunes page came with comments very similar to the ones I’ve been receiving myself. Perhaps both Trey and I have been hiding too long. With the official release of his new album The Jazz In My Soul happening TODAY according to itunes – it also appears we’ve BOTH come out of our shell to put some music out there into the world and are hiding no more. As I mentioned – our time is now…
POUND it if you feel me Trey!
Well…okay…he’s not here for a fist bump – but I can tell from music and social media alone that this stand-up character would never leave me hangin! Seems like this guy is either loved, like or at the very least respected in all his efforts and has a great network of support – how would that not lead to him making amazing music one day?
That question might be forever unanswered – the music he has made on The Jazz In My Soul is excellent.
Before you even click play on this album yourself jazz-fans with your eager jazz-hands – know that everything you’ll hear on this album was completely played by this one man himself. Produced, recorded, mixed….all by Trey. With the exception of a few guest spots on tracks like “Sweet Sweet Surrender,” “Hot Water Cornbread,” “Sloppy Joe” and “No How No Way,” every other moment exists entirely because he has embraced this time in his life and his creativity and wrote these delectable jazz numbers into their very existence.
Now again – we might come from different worlds of music – but having just gone through the exact same process on my own side of the fence – I’ve got nothing but love and respect for a guy that can go out and cut incredible songs like Trey has all on his own. You can hear the overflow of talent he has in all areas, be it guitar, piano, bass or drums…songs like “La Samba Loco,” near the beginning of the album or “Weekend Muse” really shine a light on his abilities in the jazz world.
I mentioned in the intro…”listenable” jazz…and by that term I mean for YOU cause you know I’ll listen to anything and everything. But one of the things I admire most in non-sporadic/frantic jazz like this, is the respect for space in the music and the relationship between those silent moments and key melodies coming through. Trey understands good traditional jazz songwriting, clearly. Now, because he’s the only one playing anything, he IS always doing something yes…but he’s been mindful not to clutter the songs and respect that more traditional style of easy-listening jazz. There are no ten-minute trumpet freak-out solos…no drums that wander so far you wonder if they’ve just moved onto the next track ahead of the rest of the band…none of that noise. This is jazz you can put on and relax to without any overblown or pretentious surprises.
I will say…that perhaps when featuring guests Trey finds himself on the thin line between jazz and R&B – but when you listen to how well tracks like “No How No Way” and “Sweet Sweet Surrender” came out, well….one would have to assume Trey is quite comfortable finding his music reaching a wider audience when the results are as smooth and refined as those two examples.
All in all – ask yourself right now when the last time you actually put on a jazz album…if you’re reading off our main page regularly and following us at sleepingbagstudios – well then chances are it has been a long, long time…let’s face it…we get a TON of rock albums sent our way even though we amply support ALL genres and styles of music. In fact – I don’t even need to look it up – I know for a fact that this is the first actual jazz album we’ve reviewed on this site in our two years up and running.
What I’m saying, is that jazz is a tough gig nowadays. It’s largely an “adult” style of music and sadly becoming more and more lost on today’s youth…you can all challenge me on that, but I’d still argue it to be true. Pop, rap and rock have dominated not only radio, but movies and tv shows, commercials and more for over a decade now. And you know what?
None of this makes jazz irrelevant.
Seriously – of all the “timeless” styles of music…jazz has got to be number one. There has always been so much freedom to it; whether it’s more traditionally played like here on The Jazz In My Soul or four guys playing on buckets and wood-flutes – the people that love jazz will ALWAYS love jazz, even if it’s not in regular rotation everywhere around us, everywhere we go. Instead, it becomes musically appreciated like a fine wine.
Hearing this new album by Jacob H. “Trey” Carruthers III brought that moment on for me. Songs like “Rush Hour” and “Thursdays” brought me right back to the days where I was first learning about what jazz even was from a father who was desperate to instill that knowledge in his son. It’s a piece of my own history that I cherish and love…one that allows me to sit back, put on an album like The Jazz In My Soul and genuinely enjoy every minute of it.
It’s smooth in production and sound, completely relaxing, yet something you can still catch yourself grooving too every couple minutes in. “Listenable” jazz – it certainly is – but it’s so much more than that. Jacob put the hard work into every instrument and put a masterstroke on every note in production…”listenable” in the sense there’s no chaos in the mix here. I could go on forever about how “listenable” this IS – but I HAVE listened!
And I will again for sure. But right now it’s your turn. Go check him out!
You can find The Jazz In My Soul album released & ready to purchase on itunes at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-jazz-in-my-soul/id833875493
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