Listen to Songs from “Play”

“Play” Reviews

“The smooth, horned jazz resonates from Project Grand Slam on their album, Play, which is ready to break out into the custom sound of the Dave Matthews Band. Project Grand Slam sings over a few tracks that spice up the already impressive musical display. The tracks symphonize together in a long roller-coaster ride of winding and turning music that is so eloquent. The upbeat and liveliness brings Play to fruition as there’s a lot of pep throughout.

Play is animated on the floorboards of traditional jazz tactics as it evolves into something modern and fruitful. Project Grand Slam doesn’t stay with the same tune for too long, as they turn on a dime and keep dishing out an arcade of sounds that keeps you guessing throughout. It has its valleys of slowness, but it’s all in a day’s work to keep the variety in there. The grooves produced by Project Grand Slam are grand and reign supreme as they’re like a battering ram coming through with class and grace.

In the past, jazz stirred up a more desolate feeling, comforting your sorrows and loneliness over your drink. Play never dips, and in its brief moments of replicating those origins, it spikes out of it with force to go on a tear. Project Grand Slam is an example of modernizing a genre, inspired by its own originality, and delivering a tour de force jazz of sensations that strikes you unexpectedly. Play is a winding road leading you in every direction to doors of mystery.”

“Project Grand Slam shows why it helps to have veterans together for a recording session on Play.

PGS’s first venture into the radio ready world of tracks is “The Captain of Her Heart”, a fine cover of Double’s 1986 chart-topper, which also closes the album out with an instrumental version of the song. Notable vocalist Judie Tzuke, takes the song’s super cool vibes and smooth undertow and takes Play to a level where many fall short when covering a successful track.

That flavor and groove does not let up due to the stellar musicians that put this project together. Project Grand Slam composed the majority of the album’s tracks.

Each track is a foray into a combination of contemporary, fusion, jazz rock bliss. Besides “The Captain of Her Heart”, you get the full PGS instrumental treatment. The virtuosity of the musicianship on this CD is superb and it never falls short, hitting the mark regardless of the particularly difficult intricacies or style the band decides to cover.

What I found most appealing was this unit’s innate ability to provide the “quiet storm” sound with faultlessness and switch over to a much faster paced contemporary modern sound with a dash of rock and fusion to keep your senses alert and ready for changes at any moment. Quite simply this band does it all very well and the production value of Play is equal to the task giving the listener a clear and concise sound, accentuating every nuance and color of the jazz palette that you could possibly imagine with the exception of acid jazz.

If you are in a jazz mood and want to come out and Play this will give you terminal joy from start to finish.”

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck – 4 ½ Stars

“Premiere NYC fusion jazz band Project Grand Slam celebrates the wide scope of contemporary jazz with their dazzling debut PLAY. They’ve assembled an enticing collection of originals here, plus a compelling treatment of the 1986 pop hit by Double, “The Captain of Her Heart,” offered as both an instrumental and vocal, featuring talented U.K. phenom Judie Tzuke. This album embraces an impressive, dynamic range of moods and rhythms, all with a decidedly jazz-fusion bent, and includes a handful of tracks that totally get their groove on. Smooth Jazz doesn’t have to avoid improvisation and textural excitement to hit it out of the park. Project Grand Slam proves the point brilliantly!”

“With five of its thirteen tracks already having been featured on the hit NBC series ‘Lipstick Jungle’ the debut album, ‘Play’, from contemporary jazz collective Project Grand Slam is off to a flying start.

The album opens with the jazzy ‘Studio One’ which is thoughtful yet uplifting all in one. It is one of the tracks used on ‘Lipstick Jungle’ and in this respect is in the company of the complex ‘Out of Tahini’, the bluesy but raucous ‘Ode To Jerry’ and ‘Heat 2007’ which again gives sax-man Gilad Ronen the chance to cut loose. Perhaps the best of the ‘Lipstick’ cuts is the groovy ‘Riding The Berks’.

Because much of the collection is dominated by hard driving sax the respite that the mellow ‘Because She Said So’ brings is a delight. ‘Doin’ The Worm’ has that typical Project Grand Slam ‘in your face’ beat but the real gem of the collection is the band’s cover version of Double’s 1986 hit ‘Captain Of Your Heart’. Delivered in both instrumental and vocal form this latter interpretation is blessed by the wonderful voice of Judie Tzuke who had an international hit with her seminal ‘Stay With Me Till Dawn’.

Produced in the main by the legendary Frank Filipetti who garnered a Grammy Award for his work on James Taylor’s ‘Hourglass’ project, ‘Play’ is a great album for those who enjoy contemporary jazz that is not too smooth.”

“Smooth fluid jazz from New York’s Project Grand Slam. Play is their debut album. It features one cover (“The Captain of Her Heart” featuring vocalist Judie Tzuke) and ten original compositions. All four of these players have already received worldwide acclaim on their own. Now their combined efforts will no doubt put them in a class all their own. Neat groove-oriented tracks include “Studio One,” “Riding the Berks,” “Shades of Memories,” and “Doin’ the Worm.” (Rating: 5/5)