Album Reviews

“While the melodies carry the songs to delightful places, they are always paced briskly by tight drums and other interesting percussion. At the same time, a solid foundation of harmony supports the entire sound on keyboards and bass. The mixing and mastering that must have gone into this album was obviously impeccable, as every musician’s contribution is essential and apparent to any listener.”

John DiFiore

Professor
Emeritus Union County College, NJ

I have been asked to listen to a new smooth jazz album called Elemental, and to give my reaction to this production. The album contains ten lively and smooth jazz instrumental songs performed with saxophone, keyboard, electric guitar, bass and percussion. The spotlight is on the sax melodies for these songs, alternating with the guitar at times. Upon listening to the first song, Nightfall, I was immediately drawn in my mind to familiar Chuck Mangione tunes. But those wouldn’t be on sax, would they? As I moved to the second and third songs, New Found Treasure and Forever My Love, I thought maybe I’m comparing these performers to the talents of Kenny G. However, these new songs were actually a bit jazzier, a little faster paced and thought provoking. OK, then how about a smoother version of Grover Washington Jr.? Well eventually I decided, why pigeon hole new artists that I was hearing for the first time? Just let them play and find their own space in my appreciation. Although there are no lyrics to provide a theme to the album, the set of ten songs hold together quite well. While the melodies carry the songs to delightful places, they are always paced briskly by tight drums and other interesting percussion. At the same time, a solid foundation of harmony supports the entire sound on keyboards and bass. The mixing and mastering that must have gone into this album was obviously impeccable, as every musician’s contribution is essential and apparent to any listener. All songs are between 2:30 and just above 4 minutes long, so one can begin listening anywhere in the album and find a comfortable introduction. Though the songs are all unique, the style of the composer is brought into focus and appreciated the more one listens. Evocative song titles, like Think Critically and Protest Injustice, urge the listener to connect the musical sounds with daily thoughts, concerns, and experiences. The attractive album cover contains all necessary information for the listener to understand the many talents and efforts that went into this production. I will continue to play this album during road trips in my car and while busy doing chores at home. I also look forward to hearing other works that have already been released by the artists on this new album.

“Elemental provides listeners with a musical adjournment from the forces of everyday life and like everything great leaves you wanting for more”

Ann Thatcher

Owner/ Radio Host
The Balcony Show LLC

When it comes to painting with sound, producers Shell & Shenoy have added new colors to their latest album Elemental. From the surprisingly industrial vibe on “Visions Of The Future” to the breathtakingly fresh warmth of “Forever My Love” the album offers a creative pallet to listening ears. Elemental provides listeners with a musical adjournment from the forces of everyday life and like anything great leaves you wanting for more

“The groove! That is to say the overall feel, time, phrasing and timbre are most important elements for successful improvisations in the jazz genre. This collection of original compositions, as a smooth jazz project, is as close to perfection in all the above attributes!”

Dr. Frank A. DiBussolo

8 time GRAMMY Nominee, Multi Award Winner

The groove! That is to say the overall feel, time, phrasing and timbre are most important elements for successful improvisations in the jazz genre. This collection of original compositions, as a smooth jazz project, is as close to perfection in all the above attributes! First, Messrs. Shell and Shenoy have crafted masterfully the songs contained therein. They are straightforward themes that showcase a great melodic sense and sonorous harmonies. The musicians use these elements to their fullest and the playing reflect the variations on these themes in their interpretations. To this writer, that is improvisation in its purest form. Douglas Lira imparts a facility and tone reminiscent of David Sanborn with all the taste, fire and artistic integrity that is often missing in the smooth jazz realm. Sami Turunen does the same but on guitar. His sound is fresh, exciting and his playing is well executed. The rhythm section of Hector Ruano and Glenn Welman, bass and drums respectively, set and keep the all important groove throughout the entire album. I have found that most of the music I listen to in this genre is over produced and jaded, “elevator music” if you will. Not this one! If you are looking for new music and are a jazz fan, or if you are a listener seeking to get into jazz, this record is for you. The Groove is everything and Elemental is Groovy!!

“Really nice old school jazz numbers”

Phil Forchelli

Award Winning Onwer of City Entertainment

Really nice old school jazz numbers. Like the Latin flair on some of the numbers. I would really say this is radio quality. Reminds me of some of the clubs in the village some years ago when nightlife was big and music was everywhere.

“With romantic, sociopolitical and forward thinking titles titillating our souls and intellect throughout, Elemental is a high spirited session from start to finish”

Jonathan Widran

Acclaimed Music Critic