Written by Michael Marsh
As I listened to “Dressed To Chill”, I was left with the impression that it is not “better than” (or even as good as) Marion’s previous 2004 release of “Player’s Club”. In order to verify my suspicions, I pulled “Player’s Club” off the rack, played it one time and, immediately confirmed my initial impression. “Player’s Club” is a great CD, whereas “Dressed To Chill” is not.
Having said that, I still find “Dressed To Chill” to be an enjoyable listen. If you are a Marion Meadows fan, it is certainly worth adding to your collection. Marion gets off to a very good start with the very first track, a smooth jamming instrumental piece which just happens to be named “Dressed To Chill”. After the first cut, Marion immediately mellows things out with “Remember Me” and “Dance With My Daughter”, two easy flowing numbers that will definitely put you in a relaxed mood. The fourth track, “Miss Know It All”, is one of my personal favorites from the CD, even though it is more R & B than smooth jazz. The interplay between Marion’s soprano sax and Will Brock’s lead vocal is very tantalizing and enjoyable. “Miss Know It All” is followed up by another tasty smooth jamming number, entitled “Bounce”, which I’m sure will get a lot of air play on the smooth jazz stations around the country. With the sixth track, Marion gives us yet another version of R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly”. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of hearing “I Believe I Can Fly”, though I must admit that Marion’s soprano sax sounds so sweet on his version.
The remaining six cuts on the CD continue in the same vein as the first six, alternating between lively danceable tunes to very mellow ballads. Of particular note are the tenth track, “Steppers . . . Let’s Do This” and track twelve, “To Love Her”. Marion will have everyone on the dance floor on “Steppers” and, he’ll have the lovers somewhere much more enjoyable, once they get home from the club, as they listen to “To Love Her”. If you manage to come up for air while “To Love Her” is playing, be sure to check out the fact that Marion is playing bass clarinet and soprano sax on this particular piece.
Even though “Dressed To Chill” doesn’t measure up to “Player’s Club”, I do recommend it for purchase. I’m listening to it as I write this review, and I’m already noticing that I like it more and more with each listen. Some CD’s grab you immediately and others grow on you as time passes. I put “Dressed To Chill” in the later category and give it 4 stars out of 5 (for now).
Michael Marsh is the jazz reviewer for TNCP. To make contact, you may e-mail him at email@example.com.