Archive for November 4th, 2009

Craig Sharmat – So Cal Drivin

The encounter with Craig Sharmat reveals a personality of a special kind. Influenced by artists like Larry Carlton, Pat Metheny and George Benson he soon had the lucky opportunity to share the stage with platinum selling jazz saxophonist Ronnie Laws and the not little-known jazz singer Randy Crawford. Although he arranged and programmed for chart topping trumpet player Rick Braun’s album Yours Truly and arranged strings on Peter White, Mindy Abair and Rick Braun’s 2007 Christmas Album he wasn’t caught by my smooth jazz radar screen.

The reason is simply explainable. Mainly he is fostering merits as a brilliant film composer. So he composed trailers for movies like King Kong, Ghost Rider, Eragon, Anchorman, wrote songs for the TV series like CSI Miami, Without A Trace and many more. His credits are overwhelming. Certainly enough to review his debut album So Cal Drivin, which was just released October, 2009.

The album presents his band Comfort Zone (John Balbuena, keys, Chris Mostert, sax, David Chamberlin, bass, Rich Diamond, drums) furthermore guest artists including Rick Braun, Greg Matheison, Mike White, Philippe Saisse, Dino Soldo, Billy Hulting, Steve Billman, Andy Suzuki and more. We should not forget Craig, who plays on all tracks electric guitar and in addition on some tracks keys, percussion and programming.

Blinded by such a great list of illuminates I approach Craig’s album with a certain respect. So Cal Drivin, a song about Drivin’ along the coast of Southern California, transmits the spirit of relaxed freedom, we all want to internalize, when we stuck in the middle lane of a So Cal freeway flailing our arms in frustration about the dense traffic. Turn your radio on and let Craig’s guitar music flow.

Continue reading Craig Sharmat  – So Cal Drivin

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