Listening to John Pondel creates the illusion of having a nice, quiet dinner and some drinks at a jazz club. It is smooth, fun, and sexy, creating the perfect ambiance for the first date: the unpredictable world of improvisation, in this case full of flawless solos that seem to soar over the rest of the music and plant themselves into the listener’s mind.
The music also creates a fitting soundtrack for the long-term couple as well, with simple, classic arrangements that don’t need to be loud or showy, they just need to be. The instruments communicate in such a way that insinuates familiarity as well as a knowledge and understanding of what exactly they do and don’t need to say in order to create the perfect harmony.
While Pondel’s music can successfully serve as good background music for an intimate dinner, please don’t think that means his music is at all boring or should be ignored. Taking a closer listen reveals just how intricate it is, especially his own phenomenal guitar solos.
One of the strongest moments on the album is the beginning of “Make it Nice,” the album opener, which begins with a flute solo played in the lower register, accompanied by dissonant guitar chords, which creates a beautiful but haunting effect.
As a whole, the album stands out not as a great album, but as a great piece of work that goes together as a whole and not as individual pieces. It fits together, a cohesive set of songs that very well could be a set list at any jazz club.
Review By: Valerie Williams[Rating: 3.5/5]