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Steve Oliver | Illuminate

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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Illuminate

by Steve Oliver

Illuminate is the much-anticipated eleventh career album from multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Steve Oliver, who returns with a record deeply rooted in contemporary jazz guitar melodies and Steve's trademark wordless vocalese. With Steve's instantly recognizable guitar lines and a list of guest artists that includes bass virtuoso Jimmy Haslip, the incredible Joel Taylor on drums, and sax luminary Nelson Rangell, Illuminate puts the spotlight back on one of the genre's most engaging performers and songwriters.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Full Tilt
4:00 $0.99
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2. The Game Is On
3:52 $0.99
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3. Illuminate
6:01 $0.99
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4. Visions of Light
5:40 $0.99
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5. Vamonos
4:23 $0.99
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6. Circles
5:12 $0.99
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7. Raise Up
4:54 $0.99
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8. Hidden Sun
5:43 $0.99
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9. Soul Deep
5:17 $0.99
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10. City of Lightning
4:03 $0.99
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11. Illuminate (Reprise) [Solo Guitar]
1:40 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes

With a career spanning nearly twenty years in music, multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Steve Oliver is still being heard each day on contemporary jazz radio around the world. As a first-call producer and writer for many artists in the genre, his influence and impact continues to shine as he recorded his next solo album “Illuminate". A follow up to last year’s acclaimed all vocal project “Pictures & Frames” (recorded with the legendary Vinnie Colaiuta on drums and Leland Sklar on bass at the famed Capitol Studios), "Illuminate" will offer a return to Steve’s distinct acoustic and electric guitar instrumentals, enhanced with his trademark vocalese and many special guests.


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Sundial Media Group

Illuminate puts the spotlight back on one of the genre's most engaging songwrite
His first collection of new original instrumentals since 2012 and the follow up to 2016’s well-received all vocal album “Pictures & Frames”, Illuminate celebrates a return to Steve’s trademark guitar melodies and vocalese. With Steve's instantly recognizable guitar lines and a list of stellar guest artists that includes bass virtuoso Jimmy Haslip, the incredible Joel Taylor on drums, and sax luminary Nelson Rangell, Illuminate puts the spotlight back on one of the genre's most engaging performers and songwriters.

“I lived my dream writing and producing Pictures & Frames (recorded at the famed Capitol Studios in Hollywood with the legendary rhythm section of Leland Sklar on bass and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums) and it’s a moment in time that I will always cherish” says Steve. “But when that album cycle finished, a wave of song ideas came to me that could only be presented in the style of my previous records. At the same time, we lost two of my dear friends and influences, Chuck Loeb and Allan Holdsworth, providing even more of an impetus for this release. In these uncertain and occasionally dark times, we need some new light and these tunes arrived at a perfect time for me.”

A bright and colorful album that will please long time fans of Steve’s award-winning efforts “Positive Energy”, “Radiant” and “World Citizen” (to name a few), Illuminate unfolds with the bounce and sway of the opening track “Full Tilt”, heavily reliant on the interplay between guitar and wordless vocal harmonies with accompanying saxophone by Walle Larsson.

The next two tracks “The Game Is On” and the title track are propelled via a hook-laden electric guitar (a Kiesel model which Steve helped design), bursts of vocal sounds, and Jimmy Haslip’s (Jeff Lorber Fusion, Yellowjackets) unmistakable bass lines. The latter tune, so perfect for its title as it blooms into life quickly from the opening pulse of electronics and is carried away in a rush of guitar.

“Visions of Light” is an introspective tune that bears close resemblance to Steve’s earlier work on songs like “Ocean Blue” and “Horizon”. Again, the guitar is at the forefront, accompanied by a dreamy synth bed and layered with Craig Chesnut’s sprinkled percussion.

The album’s first single, the latin burner “Vámonos” carries with it the Spanish guitar theme that’s been present throughout Steve’s career of nearly two decades. As “Vámonos” means “Let’s Go” in Spanish, the song encourages the listener to do just that - heady advice and a motivational push for this record’s birth. Chase Huna, a young star in the genre, provides the glorious sax lines.

“Circles”, with saxophone from the incomparable Nelson Rangell and drums from the amazing Joel Taylor, touches on rhythm and blues, world music, and an old-school sensibility as it weaves through intricate changes. “Raise Up” and “Hidden Sun” are similarly progressive, highlighting Steve’s electric guitar chops and Tateng Katindig’s tasteful piano work, challenging the listener with each movement; certainly not your standard “smooth jazz” fare.

Track 9, “Soul Deep” is a stripped down, bluesy wanderer with Steve accompanied only by his long time touring bassist KT Tyler and the aforementioned Craig Chesnut on drums. Again, it’s not your typical smooth-by-numbers track, but one that will presumably be lauded by long time fans.

"City of Lightning”, featuring up-and-coming sax talent BillyRay Sheppard, is another nod to the classically uplifting Steve Oliver sound and “Illuminate”, this time as a solo guitar reprise, rounds out the effort.

Highly recommended!
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SmoothJazz.com Global

SMOOTHJAZZ.COM REVIEW
Following in the tradition of his earlier albums POSITIVE ENERGY and RADIANT, Steve Oliver dubs his latest album ILLUMINATE, shining a spotlight on his trademark of vibrant, guitar melodies and sunny wordless vocalese couched in uplifting musical atmospheres. Though the uptempo, road trip ready gems drive the journey, his first set of original contemporary jazz instrumentals in six years includes several intimate ballads that bring a soulful depth to the party. Both live and in the studio, Steve showcases his one-man band mastery by generating his own guitar, bass and keyboard vibes through his unique “sound design.” ILLUMINATE is highlighted with a few top-flight friends including Jimmy Haslip, Joel Taylor and Nelson Rangell.
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