Keyboard player Vahagn Stepanyan is an award-winning music producer, arranger, songwriter, film and television composer who, since his arrival in the USA from his native Armenia, has been making waves in the field of jazz fusion. His latest album, the appropriately titled ‘A New Chapter’, is notable for many things not least of which being the stellar line-up of supporting musicians he has gathered together for what is a truly outstanding project.
Take for example the opening track and the first to be released to radio, ‘Synergy’ that with smooth jazz legend Dave Koz on sax proves to be a sassy upbeat gem.
Stepanyan keeps the tempo high for ‘Without Limits’ that features guitarist Mark Lettieri and bass player Anthony Crawford while elsewhere ‘Gravity’ is the sort of hard driving brass enriched number to ensure Stepanyan stands out from the crowd.
He keeps his foot firmly on the fusion gas with ‘Motion’ and much the same can be said of ‘Revolution’ where Feodor Dosumov on guitar is on fire.
In terms of personal favourites the magically mellow ‘Hold My Hand’ is a tranquil triumph and although ‘So Good’ shifts easily from a fusion flavour to melodic smooth jazz it is the splendid ‘Toy’ that, by some distance is the Smooth Jazz Therapy top tune.