Tom Randles | Destination Music City

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Destination Music City

by Tom Randles

Urban jazz drippin' with soul! A genuine groove retreat, featuring excellent guitar work, outstanding guest musicians and vocalists. Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee (aka) Music City.
Genre: Jazz: Soul-Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ravenous Time
4:45 $0.99
2. Flowin' Freestyle
4:20 $0.99
3. People Make the World Go Round
6:24 album only
4. Ivory And Lace
4:31 $0.99
5. No Doubt: Music City
4:05 $0.99
6. Like Butter
4:19 $0.99
7. I'm Alright
4:16 $0.99
8. Are You Ready?
5:04 $0.99
9. Raw Bottom
5:07 $0.99
10. Your Embrace (Interlude)
0:22 $0.99
11. Minor Request
4:13 $0.99
12. Gotta Feelin'
4:30 $0.99
13. Back in the Day
4:29 $0.99
14. The Funk Stops Here (Outro)
1:09 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Contemporary jazz guitarist Tom Randles gets down to business and back to his soul roots with his fourth CD, DESTINATION MUSIC CITY. Randles, an award winning multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, recorded his latest project in Nashville Tennessee, home to some of the finest musicians and sound recording engineers on the planet, creating an aural landscape you'll want to explore again and again. Check out Randles' jazzy version of famous R&B cover tune, PEOPLE MAKE THE WORLD GO ROUND! Terrific solo saxophone work by Kenny Anderson (Gloria Estefan, Tom Jones, Larry Carlton, Arturo Sandoval, Bobby Caldwell) and master trumpet player Jim Williamson (Aretha Franklin, Michael McDonald, B.B. King, The Temptations, Randy Brecker) take this project to a whole new level. "I really wanted to work with some great players and I tried to make the most of that opportunity. Producing this CD was an amazing process and the other musicians and vocalists knew just where to take it. I am extremely grateful to all of them, including singer Tiffany Johnson featured on I'M ALRIGHT and rap artist Roy Kelly, featured on MINOR REQUEST. I used several local studios and rooms to record all 14 tracks and a few of those sessions went into the wee hours of the next morning. There are many terrific recording facilities in Nashville. Mark Thompson (Sweetbriar Studios) and mastering engineer Dave Shipley (Foxwood Mastering) are two of the finest and most helpful pros in the business. Everyone who had a hand in this recording really challenged me to produce music I hope you'll enjoy for years to come." In addition to guitar, Randles played piano solo on Ivory And Lace and also played a mean bass guitar solo on Raw Bottom. So whether you just want to kick back and relax, or wake up your senses... make your DESTINATION MUSIC CITY.



to write a review

Neida (Sis) Dallas

One fine little bro.
Listened, Liked, Purchased. Now I'm so excited to get it and enjoy it !!!!

Bass Frontiers Magazine

Review: Tom Randles – Destination Music City
Matt O’Donnell
Managing Editor

Does it surprise anyone that in Nashville, with its dubious title of Music City, that even the NBC television affiliate, WSMV, has had its evening news broadcast infiltrated by one of its secretly most talented instrumentalists? Didn’t think so. With that, I draw your attention to the fourth album release from guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Tom Randles, entitled very fittingly Destination Music City.

Destination Music City is a groove-laden, mostly instrumental beast that takes you on a musical thrill ride to the tune of 57+ minutes. The obvious first thing to mention here is what this record is NOT. It is not a token set of questionably executed songs by someone with an already established platform. Destination Music City is a beautifully and intricately written, arranged, and performed affair from a musician who clearly has respect and ambition for his craft.

Randles is also smart to surround himself with some incredible players, as well. Tom puts Stephen Clark on the keys, David Jackson on bass, Bobby Goff on drums/percussion, and Henry Hughes fills in the holes with rhythm guitar and keys.

Destination Music City starts off with a relatively quick-paced bouncy trip called Ravenous Time, which is augmented by the fantastic Kenny Anderson (Larry Carlton, Arturo Sandoval, Bobby Caldwell) on saxophone. Anderson tears up a solo through the middle of the tune, over fantastic bass work from Jackson, while some tasty synth lines melt into the middle. Randles puts together a really fine effort at the back of the tune, using the entire range of the guitar to pique interest throughout.

David Jackson does a stellar job of picking good notes and spots to venture out of safe tonality in his playing on Flowin’ Freestyle, where he competes for the low end of the tonal spectrum with a Rhodes ostinato for much of the tune. Randles spends much of this tune coloring the gaps with fantastic voicings. Really, one of Tom’s strong suits throughout the entire effort is his ability to vary his chord voicings on the guitar, keeping no tune sounding the same insofar as the guy with his name on the disc goes.

Obviously, with a required, yet unique point of view on events in the world, country, and region of middle Tennessee, Randles’ inclusion of The Stylistics’ People Make the World Go Round is almost a no-brainer. The track is laden with a great groove that you can get down to, but it also keeps it real by interspersing some clips of various voices discussing some of the problems that we face as a society. The lone cover on the album, the guitar and keyboards take turns weaving in and out of the unyielding groove.

It’s only track 4 out of 14, and Randles blows you away by taking one of the best musical moments of the set on an instrument other than guitar. Tom takes the entire level up a few notches with a tasteful and probing piano solo on Ivory and Lace. Jackson’s upright is a pleasant shift in the groove foundation here, as well.

Jim Williamson (Aretha Franklin, Michael McDonald, Randy Brecker) jumps into the mix playing flugelhorn on No Doubt: Music City. You can hear Williamson really finding all the corners of the form before he blisters through some extended lines about 2 minutes into the song. A wah tone gets employed here on the guitar, creating yet another new texture that we haven’t heard yet. With Randles’ composition and arranging skills, it’s always something just a little different. That’s a great thing.

We get a shot at a full-song vocal performance from Tiffany Johnson on I’m Alright, with Tom handling his fair share himself. Johnson’s vocals are pure, with a very fine sense of phrasing and range. Both Randles and Jackson show great tastefulness in the timing and positioning of their fills around the vocals here.

A short time later, it happens. Tom Randles takes the bass himself and blows for a while on Raw Bottom. Before you do that thing we like to do in Nashville where you cross your arms and judge someone while they perform instead of responding, take ease! Tom definitely handles his bass moment with the perspective of a bassist, not just a guitarist playing a bigger beast with less strings. Randles has a strong bass groove providing the foundation of the track, but never once in his solo does he lose the important spots of the feel that you need to have when taking your moment in the lights. Victor Wooten often talks about how when the bass player solos, the groove goes away. If you take away the accompanying bass line, you would easily find that Tom has got it covered. Move along.

Slick drum programming and upright bass begin the fantastic Minor Request, with Randles’ guitar following shortly after, taking the groove hostage (for the better!). Great rhythmic rap flow emanates from Roy Kelly on a track that develops into a tune very much dedicated to Carlos Santana, with an accompanying shred-heavy solo, before ending with a great punchline at the end that you can only hear to appreciate. This is, in many ways, one of the clear standouts of the set.

Kenny Anderson returns on saxophone for Back In The Day, a smooth, laid-back track very much in the style of Grover Washington Jr. Back In The Day includes some great double-stop guitar lines throughout, and an out-of-nowhere break that would confound even the slickest George Benson-style player. David Jackson plays wonderfully sparsely, yet memorable here (very reminiscent of Marcus Miller’s time in Washington’s employ).

For the very most part, Destination Music City is a tour de force in what a great modern groove jazz record should be. It’s full of strong foundations, intricate colorings, and tasty solos. It’s very much to the credit of Tom Randles that it’s not 57+ minutes of “listen to this guitar player!”. He graciously defers to his incredibly capable musicians often, but steps out to the front to make his statement in all the right spots. The inclusion of horn work on the album is welcome and refreshing, but I might like to hear some solo horn melodies and riffs behind solos in a future release. That could only increase the amount of soundscapes that Randles can use, which I’ve already mentioned are vast and varied.

Long story short: Destination Music City is an album that’s worth having around for the listening pleasure of many, few, or one anytime, anywhere. Here’s just hoping that the evening news doesn’t keep Tom too busy to sling the guitar for us again soon.