Ken Navarro – In My Wildest Dreams (1999)

FrontCover1Ken Navarro (born June 9, 1953) is an Italian-American Contemporary Jazz guitarist and composer. He first received recognition as a solo artist in 1990 with his song “Try Again” from his debut CD The River Flows. Other well-known songs from his 21 releases include “Eric’s Dream”, “Delicioso”, “Smooth Sensation”,”You Are Everything”, “The Meeting Place”, “Daddy-O”, “The Stars, The Snow, The Fire”,”Dreaming of Trains” and “Ruby Lane”. His recordings have featured other notable Contemporary Jazz artists including saxophonists Brandon Fields and Eric Marienthal, bassists Tom Kennedy and Gary Grainger, and former Spyro Gyra drummer Joel Rosenblatt. His recording “Dreaming of Trains” was released on March 16, 2010 and was pre-nominated in 2 Grammy award categories. Navarro’s 2012 solo guitar album “The Test Of Time” was released March 20. His latest album for 2014 is “Ruby Lane” and features Navarro on acoustic and electric guitars as well as piano and keyboards. The Scheinbar String Quartet is also featured on the composition “When The Spirit Speaks”.

Navarro has produced numerous recordings for other Contemporary Jazz musicians including saxophonist Eric Darius and pianist Jay Rowe.

Navarro founded the record label Positive Music Records in 1990 and the label has subsequently released 97 titles.(by wikipedia)

KenNavarro01After showing off a more edgy, aggressive side of himself in a live setting on the simultaneous CD and home video release Ablaze in Orlando, Ken Navarro gets back to his trademark, free-spirited, and plucky (mostly) acoustic guitar ways on In My Wildest Dreams (Positive Music). One of the genre’s most consistent purveyors of instantly catchy tunes and swaying funk rhythms which are the musical equivalent of the bright colors found on the cover of this CD, Navarro mostly keeps the melodies sunny over rhythmic bases which range from slow grooving hip-hop to more throbbing bass and drum foundations created by Gary Grainger (who plays both instruments). On the title track, Navarro conveys the sense of achieving those smooth jazz dreams by contrasting an opening low tone melody with a higher, happier timbre, as if moving from darkness to light. He waits till track nine to really turn up the heat, but rewards our patience with the pounding, Marcus Miller like throb tune “Sky Fi,” on which a swinging Navarro modulates his nylon string to sound like a steel string, and Eric Marienthal goes crazy on the alto as Grainger’s crunchy percussion bounces underneath. Navarro’s longtime keyboardist Jay Rowe dashes off several beautiful piano solos, but has even more fun creating (on synth) a simmering blues organ sheen on the retro-soul flavored “Street Smarts.” (by Jonathan Widran)

Gary Grainger (bass)
Greg Grainger (drums)
Eric Marienthal (saxophone)
Ken Navarro (guitar, keyboards)
Jay Rowe (keyboards)

01. In My Wildest Dreams 4.38
02. Dancing With Melissa 4.28
03. Touch 4.20
04. Big Heart 4.29
05. Deep Blue 4.30
06. Beauty Spot 4.16
07. Insatiable 4.30
08. Firelight 4.37
09. Sly-Fi 4.40
10. Street Smarts 3.58

All compositions by Ken Navarro