Paula Atherton, Can You Feel It Review
Saxophonist, flutist Paula Atherton has enjoyed a long and varied career in contemporary and mainstream jazz. Her acumen on her instruments are poised and adept. Her full-length album Can You Feel It has already begun to garner real accolade with her single also titled “Can You Feel It,” landing a #1 hit, three weeks in a row on Billboard. What is even more cementing about this accolade is she also landed #1 slots on Mediabase and #1 on the Smooth Jazz Network. Each track is produced by various producers including, Bill Heller, best known as the legendary keyboardist for the Ripppingtons. Longtime collaborator guitarist Lou Gimenez who has co-written several of Paula’s tunes historically. Other co-writing and production credits include keyboardist Greg Manning, multi-instrumentalist Matt Godina, including multi-instrumentalist Nathan Mitchell, Paul Brown, and the notable Schuyler Deale known for his work with Billy Joel, Michael Bolton, Jeff Lorber, and more. So what does this all-star line-up of producers and contributors add up to for Atherton? Simply put, a canvas to which Atherton can shine her abilities in the highest preeminent way on her latest album Can You Feel It.Bottom Line: The album kicks off with a Latin cut “One Night in Madrid,” written by Atherton. On this cut, she is featured on flute. Her tone is warm and resonate. She easily maneuvers through the melody with buoyance and command. Co-producer Heller is featured on keys on this cut and offers a salient solo. Bassist Kip Sophos and drummer Lionel Cordew lock tightly as they traverse the deeply felt Latin rhythms, while guitarist and co-producer Gimenez colorizes well-chosen notes. Its clear Atherton is in complete control of her instrument, as she twists and weaves an assertive outro utilizing every part of her flute to hue an exciting listen.
The album perambulates a wide range of feels and moods but stands firmly in the smooth-jazz idiom in aesthetic. Tunes like “Forget Me Nots,” are a lesson in funky sensuality, originally made famous by Patrice Rushen. Atherton spins her own version with the help of longtime producer Gimenez. On this tune, we get to hear the soulfulness of Atherton’s endowed voice. Atherton invokes her primary instrument, the alto saxophone, and thrills the listener alongside Cindy Bradley on trumpet and trombone, hitting all the right notes. The single “Can You Feel It,” is a total and complete crowd-pleaser, its easy to hear why it spent so much time on the top of the Billboard charts. Each tune on the album offers its own charms, but in the final new track, “Funkulator,” you realize the album doesn’t have a throwaway track insight. Produced and written by Deale, Atherton pulls out her alto axe on this one, and in the best of what smooth jazz has to offer, she spins forth a groovy take on Deale’s original. Easy going, breezy, and light on the ears, it is a tune you want to take with you on a long car ride and put on repeat.
Atherton’s full-length LP Can You Feel It, is out on Dream Records; it’s a definitive delight. Atherton is the real deal, a multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist earning her stripes as a force to be reckoned with. That’s the short of it!
Connect with Paula Atherton: Website |
Can You Feel It
A Night in Madrid (feat. Bill Heller)
Forget Me Nots
Can You Feel It
Don't Let Me Wait
20 Miles to Nowhere
In the Pocket
Just Can't Stop
Summer Song (feat. Nathan Mitchell)
Ain't No Denyin'
Funkulator (feat. Schuyler Deale)
Just Can't Stop (Radio Edit)
Release Date: August 24, 2020
Dream On Records