Produced and mixed by the redoubtable Paul Brown, ‘Flying High’ is the brand new CD from silky smooth guitarist Les Sabler. It is Sabler’s ninth solo album and follows his 2021 project ‘Tranquility’ that was notable for many reasons; The writing skills of Shane Theriot and Lew Laing, production from two-time Grammy-winner Paul Brown and Sabler’s faultless playing. It all added to what proved to be a total gem and for the aptly titled ‘Flying High’ Sabler has assembled this same creative team.
Take for example the opening track, the extremely easy grooving ‘Over The Top’. Enriched by flute from Greg Vail it is one of five songs co-written (with Paul Brown) by Shane Theriot and another is ‘Old Friends’ that throbs with an intensely Latin vibe. ‘Soft and Smooth’ is a tune where the title tells you all you need to know about this most sensitive of numbers yet of the Theriot – Brown compositions it is ‘Double Jeopardy’ that arguably steals the show. Gliding along on a mid tempo groove this one really gets the job done.
Talking of stealing the show, the hypnotically mid tempo ‘Moonlight’ from the writing powerhouse of Lew Laing and Paul Brown is right up there with the best that ‘Flying High’ has to offer and an early contender for the Smooth Jazz Therapy top twenty of 2023.
The first single to be serviced to radio is ‘New Bossa’, a laid back charmer written by David Evan Stone, Geno Henderson, Paul Brown and Ray Crossley. It really hits the smooth jazz spot and much the same cam be said of Sabler’s cool interpretation of ‘Summer In the City’ that, not withstanding the Lovin’ Spoonful original, draws its inspiration from the version recorded by Quincy Jones in 1973.
Elsewhere Sabler takes up a retro perspective with ‘Compared To What’ that was written by Eugene McDaniel in 1969 for Roberta Flack’s debut album ‘First Take’. Later he draws inspiration from the wonderful Dusty Springfield for his own very personal rendition of ‘The Windmills Of Your Mind’ that graced the 1968 motion picture ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’ and as ‘Flying High’ winds down to a notable conclusion Sabler pays homage to guitar legend Kenny Burrell with ‘A Child Is Born’ that Burrell back in 1971.
‘Flying High’ will be released February 3 and is well worth looking out for.