Smooth Jazz Meets Reggae
Helen Rogers
Skinny Bwoy Records
November 4, 2015

Track list
  1. Summer In The City
  2. In The Light
  3. Let It Be
  4. Scheherazade
  5. In The Light feat. Quicktouch
  6. Be Thankful For What You Got
  7. Woman Overboard
  8. I'm Still In Love
  9. Don't Know Why
  10. Faith For Love
  11. Scheherazade (Acoustic)
  12. Let It Be (Chill Mix)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Helen Rogers (born Helen Clark in Rinteln, Germany) began her singing career in London in the 1980s, firstly with One Stop a South London reggae label, where she met and recorded with reggae legend Ken Parker and worked with UK lovers rock band Natural Touch. She went on to become lead singer of the British Jazz Funk band Direct Drive, and was signed to Polydor Records in this capacity. They had a massive hit with their song "Anything", which remained at #1 on the Black Echoes Soul chart for 8 weeks, and then crossed over to the UK National Chart. Helen Rogers' foray into the US market came through her work on Jazzmasters, the smooth jazz album series she co-founded with producer and multi-instrumentalist Paul Hardcastle, with whom she worked with in Direct Drive. Throughout the 1990s the Jazzmasters series entered Billboard’s Smooth Jazz charts numerous times with several entries peaking at the #1 position.

Now this Billboard chart-topping vocalist and songwriter of Jazzmasters fame returns with a brand new album for Henry Buckley Jr aka Sadiki's own Skinny Bwoy Records entitled "Smooth Jazz Meets Reggae". The 10-song set (plus two CD-only bonus tracks) features the production work of Quicktouch (Henry 'Sadiki' Buckley Jr. & Marvin Weatherspoon, the keyboardist for The Chi-Lites), Paul 'Computer Paul' Henton, Lloyd Mullings and Nathan Monlux. The title of the album, "Smooth Jazz Meets Reggae", fully expresses what the listener can expect when he's going to listen to this collection: a mixture of smooth jazz songs and reggae songs, to be more precise, songs that are 100% smooth jazz alongside tunes that are 100% reggae. Included are fresh originals such as "Summer In The City", "In The Light", "Let It Be", "Scheherazade" and "Faith For Love" as well as renditions of Norah Jones' "Don't Know Why” (on a relick of classic reggae riddim), William DeVaughn's "Be Thankful For What You Got" from 1974 and Alton Ellis' "I'm Still In Love". In particular the reggae version of the awesome "Be Thankful For What You Got" is worth hearing over and over again and the same goes for "Woman Overboard", an original song which comes across an updated version of a classic Studio One riddim.

All in all this is 'big people music', tailor-made for the mature reggae and lovers rock fan and, of course, for fans of smooth jazz works.