Whether old-school jazz, soulful pop or R&B, the heart of John Novello's vibe is groove and sensuality. The composer and keyboardist––who plays acoustic and electric piano, Hammond B-3 organ, Korg synthesizers and upright bass––infuses Ivory Soul with melodic, radio friendly gems featuring sax greats Gerald Albright, Tom Scott and Eric Marienthal. But, typical of the indie spirit that defies strict pigeonholing, he saves his deeper jazz expressions for the more improvisational moods of “Funk Shui” and heartfelt solo piano of “Blackbird” and “Stella By Starlight.” He also includes touches of Latin jazz on the spirited “Fiestaville.
Score: 8 out of 10
Producer: John Novello and Andy Goldmark