Oli Silk is clearly gunning for fans who gobble up the bright, catchy vibe of Paul Hardcastle and Brian Culbertson. Silk, like Hardcastle, is from the U.K. and favours a smooth, grooving sound that’s romantic for ballads and thick and percussive for upbeat tunes. It’s probably no surprise, then, that the 27-year-old keyboardist and composer is one of the latest signings of the U.K.-based Trippin N Rhythm label, home to Hardcastle. Silk caught the label’s attention while collaborating with saxophonist James Vargas and with his own band called Sugar and Silk.
“Easy Does It” typifies Silk’s groove, beginning with cascading keyboard and guitar trills and settling into a melodic, acoustic piano groove a la Culbertson. A cool bass solo by Julian Crampton cements its status as one of the songs of the year. Equally tempting is “Eve’s Song,” a slow-burning, sexy number with a deep synth-bass hook. Silk throws in two soulful vocal tunes that are anything but throwaways—the cover song introduces the soulful and sexy chops of Yvonne John-Lewis, while a version of the O’Jays’ “Summer Fling” showcases the vocal range of Bruce Parker. Silk rounds out this fine CD with uptempo tunes like “Deuces Wild,” which offers another Trippin signee, saxophonist Jaared, and “San Carlos Approach.” But don’t leave before hearing the final song, the satisfyingly trippy and jazzy “Rushmoor Café,” where rapid keyboard runs lead into some fancy bursts of synth playing. Oli Silk sounds like he’s here to stay. Brian Soergel
This is one heck of a debut album for a “new kid on the block”. Well, we all know Oli Silk is not that “new”. He’s been around for 10 years producing and writing and being part of a duo with bass-man Danny Sugar in U.K. but this work is entirely of his own. Great tunes, beautifully arranged it makes this cd a “must” for any smooth jazz lover. “Eve’s Song” and “Easy Does It” stand out but there are no fillers on this album. Some funky grooves (“Summer Fling” & “Deuce Wild”)& even vocals (“So Many Ways”) combine perfect with the mood of this project. Definitely a 5 stars in my book. Charlie Trece via AMAZON.COM
This CD is absolutely fantastic! Many of you may have heard different jazz cuts referred to as tasty; well this CD is delicious! There are several cuts that are smooth, funky, and fun. I obviously like Easy Does it, but I find myself hypnotised by London to L. A. Express. Mr. Silk’s jazz offerings are indeed silky. What an album, no wonder it’s hard to find. Get this album, it’s a must have! Sterling via AMAZON.COM
RADIO SINGLES: EASY DOES IT, EVE’S SONG