Michael Fair | How Close Are We?

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Urban/R&B: Deep Funk Latin: Brazilian Jazz Moods: Type: Background Music
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How Close Are We?

by Michael Fair

Picks up where his last one left off, dishing up more fire and more groove while still offering a warm dose of Michael Fair's super-smooth flugelhorn.
Genre: Urban/R&B: Deep Funk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. How Close Are We?
Michael Fair
5:23 $0.99
2. Running Scared
Michael Fair
4:41 $0.99
3. One Last Cry
Michael Fair and Brandon Barnes
4:11 $0.99
4. New Shooz New Attitude
Michael Fair
5:04 $0.99
5. Brazilian Sunrise
Michael Fair
5:47 $0.99
6. Four Chord Pileup
Michael Fair
5:11 $0.99
7. Midnight Groove
Michael Fair
5:47 $0.99
8. Sunday Afternoon Drive
Michael Fair
5:21 $0.99
9. A Fool Again
Michael Fair
4:22 $0.99
10. Beach Front Hideaway
Michael Fair
4:40 $0.99
11. East or West?
Michael Fair
6:11 $0.99
12. Nylon Samba
Michael Fair
5:28 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Multi-Grammy nominated writer/producer Brandon Barnes teams up with Nashville based smooth jazz trumpet/flugelhorn artist Michael Fair for their second offering " How Close Are We?". This eagerly anticipated collaboration arrives two years after this duos highly successful first release "Love Me Like That". " How Close Are We?", picks up where "Love Me Like That" left off, dishing up more fire and more groove while still offering a warm dose of Michael Fair's super-smooth flugelhorn on such tunes as "Midnight Groove" and the Brian McKnight/ Brandon Barnes/Melanie Barnes mega hit "One Last Cry".
Both Brandon and Michael's resumes read like a "Who's Who" in the music business. Brandon has written and produced with such artists as Brian McKnight, Helen Reddy, Claude McKnight of Take 6, Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish, Tyrese, Phillip Bailey, Brenda Russell, Robbie Nevil, Stephen Bishop, Siedah Garrett, BB Winans, Phil Collins and Boyz to Men, to name a few.
Michael Fair has shared the stage with such notables as Michael McDonald, Larry Carlton, Amy Grant, Oliva Newton-John, Christopher Cross, Claude McKnight, John Wyatt, Sam Moore, Victor Wooten, Donna Summer, T. Graham Brown, Carman and Delbert McClinton.
Michael has parlayed his flugelhorn talents into numerous artistic endeavors. He has most recently been featured as the solo horn in the Latin Jazz ballet "Arriving in Indigo City", a Carolina Ballet Theatre production written and arranged by Russ Corvey and choreographed by Herman Justo. As a tribute to Michael's flugelhorn playing forte the "How Close Are We?" cut "Brazilian Sunrise" was showcased as a ballet musical feature. He has also contributed to major motion picture soundtracks like "The Apostle".
Despite Michael's distinctive resume, his focus is on flugelhorn smooth jazz. " I love the warm sound of the horn because it lends itself well to the smooth jazz genre"-Michael Fair.
Whereas Michael's debut CD " Love Me Like That" features smooth grooves and dark tambers, "How Close Are We?" is a dynamic composition with a variety of radio ready tunes ranging from ballads and R & B grooves to Latin Jazz accents.
"How Close Are We ?" has already received heavy radio rotation in Nashville. All songs were written and produced by Brandon and Michael with the exception of the aforementioned " One Last Cry" which was a huge hit for Brian McKnight on his debut album. There are high energy cuts such as the title cut" How Close Are We?", "New Shooz New Attitude" and "Running Scared". Those who enjoy slow tempo melodic ballads will find " A Fool Again" and
"Midnight Groove" appealing. Two vibrant Latin Jazz cuts
"Nylon Samba" and "Brazilian Sunrise" complete this cross-sectional mix of music. There is certainly something for music lovers of all tastes on "How Close Are We?". Nashville is known for Country and Contemporary Christian music, yet the smooth jazz genre is surging with remarkable players like flugelhorn artist Michael Fair blazing the way.



to write a review

rosa siragusa

this is what heaven must sound like
i was listening to a internet radio station and michael's song midnight groove came on, i immediately went looking for his site and found this one and am going to order this cd as soon as i get done writing this review (i am currently listening to samples of his cd and i can tell you i am in a better mood for having done so!)
thank you for your wonderful talent and beautiful music!!

Tim Hillhouse-songwriter/composer

Melodies that lodge in your memory
Michael's jazz is very melodic, very harmonic, and you come away with melodies that lodge in your memory and repeat themselves later on.

Kevin Henessy

Hooked to your music
I really enjoyed your CD and I have always loved your horn playing. Your songs are just as good as any I hear on mainstream Jazz radio stations, right there with the successful contemporary artists like Chris Botti.

Chuck Mann

Smooth Jazz Presentation that is creative and well arranged
Duke Ellington said "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing." This smooth jazz CD does swing. Here is the hook-Michael Fair, on trumpet and flugelhorn, uses melody and improvisation to bring out the chord changes of each song. It's a brilliant presentation on the part of Michael Fair and co-writer Brandon Barnes. Listening to this CD from the chord progression viewpoint opens this recording up to a much broader audience. Michael is brilliant at using the single line notes to highlight the chords that make up each song. It's as if a horn section of a big band is playing in unison to give each song the body of a big band arrangement. This CD moves beyond traditional smooth jazz. You can not only just listen, but you may just want to snap your fingers or tap your feet. "Running Scared" is just one good example. "New Shooz New Attitude" is a a good example of the arranging skills and programming prowess of Brandon Barnes to make a tune swing. One of my favorite creative rhythm arrangements is "East or West?" that has an underlying funky beat that is overlayed with a reggae beat on the verse. "One Last Cry"(written by Brandon Barnes, Melanie Barnes, and Brian McKnight)is tastefully done by starting out with trumpet and guitar. In summary, this is smooth jazz presentation that is creative, very well programmed and arranged, and, well, it swings.

Calvin Walker- Jazz Artist

You are the baddest dude I have heard in a long time.
If I were in the promotion business I would book you for sure. As a serious Jazz man myself (Drums, Keys) I know music! You are the baddest dude I have heard in a long time. Fresh, solid, deeply mellow and seriously funky with jams like "How close Are We". I have told my brother, friends, everybody, about your music, and man I tell you, you are kicking! I have never heard of you, but I am glad I do now. YOU ARE A GREAT HORN MAN!!! I love Chris Botti as well, but this is a different flavor.

Carol Batey, Freelance Journalist- www.hotmusicnews.us,Urban Gro

Invite his music into your home, heart, soul and mind.
Michael Fair, a brilliant composer, producer and musician lists Herb Alpert as one of his most prominent influences in his musical journey. As a musical journalist in Nashville, I see and hear many bands around the "Music City" not all have the stage presence and showmanship as the Michael Fair Quartet. Michael is a native Nashvillian whose music along with his co-writer Brandon Barnes takes you on a higher level. That level is not just in local areas their music is universal. Longfellow has stated that,"Music is a universal language." Track 5 "Brazilian Sunrise" with Michael blowing his smooth licks on his flugelhorn and the Latin beat of Brandon's keys put you on the Island with a tropical feel. Do you know how to do the Cha Cha? If so then you will love the rhythmic sounds of the "Nylon Samba" as the you hear the ocean breezes.
Michael Fair and his Quartet are very versatile on stage. They have been showcased by the 88.1 WFSK on air personalities at CAFE 123 several times to standing room only. The audience was taken by surprise that Michael has magic soulful vocals! Maybe he will add them on his next CD. Michael charms the listeners with his calmness, skillfulness and grace as he plays to soothe their listening ears.
I guess you know by now I am in love with Michael Fair's music. He has the ability to keep the audience's attention he also knows how to communicate to the listeners in many ways! See it for yourself. Invite his music into your home, heart, soul and mind. Once you do it will never leave your soul and spirit, the spirit of his music will be fused into your surroundings!

Ron Miller -Nashville Newsletter

Fair's Flugelhorn equally burns and soothes with perky grooves
Ron Miller jazzreview.com (staff)

Like a breath of fresh cool air in a late Autumn morning, Michael Fair’s new CD displays how his Flugelhorn can equally heat up some evening romantic passion with his velvety tones and percolating grooves. "How Close Are WE?" suggests a few anecdotes for the romantic music lover in the smooth jazz vein. The 12 selections delve into light and hard funk, Samba ,Bossa Nova and various ballad modes. This disk isn’t stuck in just one groove! The composers of the instrumentals are Michael Fair and his multi-talented partner, Brandon Barnes. Barnes shows his flair for sharing guitar, keyboard, songwriting and programming duties all done with the live band act in mind. Not an easy task but one performed very well here. However, one constant is ever-present, Fair’s delicious tone and velvety tinged melodies. Add some thematic backdrops and percolating bass and percussion grooves and what you have is a relaxing and reflective body of composition and performance.
Fair’s music is primarily programmatic, graphically painting a sound texture throughout his sound canvas. ‘Midnight Groove’ has a funky floating feel with and urban undercurrent. The title cut, ‘How Close Are We?’ suggest a question answer interplay. ‘Running Scared’, has a post Miami Vice feel and funky electronic feel. My vote for the heartfelt ballad of the collection would have to be the evocative duet between classical guitar and flugelhorn on ‘One Last Cry.’ Penned by band mate Brandon Barnes, Cry develops with a catchy melody and grows with strings with a surprise Picardy third ending (minor tonality ending major),adding lift to the moody piece. ‘Brazilian Sunrise,’ hints at how hard the live band will groove on this upbeat number.
Michael Fair ‘s latest offering, ‘How Close Are We?,’ shows us how he’s grown as a composer and arranger, while keeping his smooth jazz audience in mind. Hailing from the great musical think tank of JAZZVILLE aka -Nashville, Tennessee, we can look forward to hearing more from Fair’s beautifully textured horn as well as some seductive melodies in the near future. I can’t wait to see and hear this act with full band live!

G. Lynn Davis

This CD earns a permanent place in your carousel.
You don't listen to this CD. You wear it. You put it on like your favorite sweater on a cold day. It surrounds your life and lifts your spirits. Like your favorite scent, you catch a whiff of it and lock in. This ain't music, its a sensual experience and your body is going to thank you. Michael is the, "go to guy" when I want some music to get the blood pumping for love and loving, sweet and right. Its not mellow, its not vintage wine, you can't find it and describe it with words. You and your love have to experience it; and once you do, hey, well, you'll get online and write a review like this one.


Fans of Smooth Jazz especially of trumpet music will like this album with a silk
The trumpet is certainly a popular instrument in smooth jazz. Everybody knows trumpet player like Herb Alpert, Chris Botti or Rick Braun. Michael Fair is a new name, a musician who deserves your attention.
Read further at

Hans- Bernd Hülsmann (HBH) - Webmaster of Smooth-jazz.de

Smooth Jazz trumpet with a silky touch.
The trumpet is certainly a popular instrument in smooth jazz. Everybody knows trumpet player like Herb Alpert, Chris Botti or Rick Braun. Michael Fair is a new name, a musician who deserves your attention.

His new album "How Close Are We?" (2003) is his second solo album after "Love Me Like That", which was released in 2002. Both album are based on a collaboration between Michael Fair and Brandon Barnes. Brandon Barnes is a music genius like Brian Culbertson. While Michael is concentrating on trumpet and flugelhorn, Brandon Barnes is playing keyboards, guitar and programming. Brandon Barnes is a multi Grammy nominated writer. He has co-written some of Brian McKnight's biggest hits including The Way Love Goes, Goodbye My Love, One Last Cry, Never Felt This Way, Last Dance, 6 8 12, What's It Gonna Be, and Still just to name a few. Brandon also wrote songs for Kim Waters, Kirk Whalum, Art Porter, Alicia Keys, Take 6 and a lot prolific artists more. Now he has co-written 11 songs of the new album too.

Herb Alpert has influenced Michael Fair's music. He began playing the songs that he heard his parents listening to by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. There is no great difference to this master of trumpet. Nevertheless Michael Fair prefers the silky side of smooth jazz.

Michael Fair likes to play his trumpet with some reverb, while the other instruments are mainly staying in the foreground. With this acoustical effect both players are creating a stage in the soundscape with Michael's trumpet in the center. You will never mistake that this is a trumpet album. It's absolutely the lead instrument on this album.

How Close Are We? is a groovy piece with programmed rhythm and keyboard layers like a carpet of synth strings. Michael's playing is easy and sovereign. The title song introducing in this album is a veritable enjoyment.

Running Scared is very rhythm orientated. The programmed rhythm always stay on the same level while Michael is performing variations of the song motif. Brandon Barnes also adds some keyboard sounds and a synth bass.

One Last Cry was written by Brandon Barnes, Melanie Barnes and Brian McKnight. This song is getting a classic. It was already covered by Kim Waters ("It's Time For Love"), Michael White ("Side By Side") or Marty Q ("Sentimental Christmas"). Michael Fair's version has its own character.

New Shooz New Attitude has some freaky contemporary elements like scratching as a rhythm component. Michael's approach to Herb Alpert's modern albums like "Colors" is phenomenal. I also like Brandon Barnes' Hammond B3 throw-in.

Well, Brazilian Sunrise has a certain retro-appeal. Some Cha-Cha rhythms and acoustic guitar slicks are a wonderful frame. The syncopated rhythm breaks are salt and pepper right in time. The piano solo, is awesome which could really be longer.

Four Chord Pileup has a disco rhythm which is standing in contrast to Michael Fair's sustained trumpet sound. Looks like both artists have used some over-dubbing features.

The title Midnight Groove is typical for Smooth Jazz and the music behind this title too. The attributes slow, dreamy and snuggly caressing may characterize the atmosphere.

Sunday Afternoon Drive provokes the association of a coastal drive near Santa Barbara, the sunny California beach.

The slow A Fool Again shows up Michael Fair's love to bar music. Jazz brushes and some jazzy guitar chords intensify this impression.

Beach Front Hideaway is finally my break through. Catchy melody and performance are absolutely convincing.

East Or West? is another hooky song, which stays in mind.

The contemplative Nylon Samba is a worthy closing of this matured project.

Fans of Smooth Jazz especially of trumpet music will like this album with a silky touch.
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