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Jazz 05/02/2021

Contemporary Jazz Guitarist Les Sabler Finds "Tranquility" On New Album Produced By Grammy Winner Paul Brown

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Contemporary Jazz Guitarist Les Sabler Finds "Tranquility" On New Album Produced By Grammy Winner Paul Brown
New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Like a trusted friend, contemporary jazz guitarist Les Sabler finds that playing guitar brings him tranquility, especially when the noise of the world becomes too much. He can disappear by slipping into an electric guitar groove and find calmness while exploring a nylon string guitar riff. While sheltering in place in his Nashville home during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and as civil unrest erupted, Sabler quieted his mind while getting to know the vintage Gibson Johnny Smith guitar model recommended by his producer, two-time GRAMMY winner Paul Brown. The resulting album, "Tranquility," a soothing cocktail of cosmopolitan jazz, soul-powered R&B grooves and mellifluous pop instrumentals, dropped last Friday on the New Vista label.

After tracking two songs last February in Brown's Los Angeles recording studio, work on the 10-track set, Sabler's eighth album and first since 2014, had to be put on hold. When the project resumed in July, they were joined by the socially distant bassist Roberto Vally, drummer Gorden Campbell, percussionist Lenny Castro, Lee Thornburg (trumpet and trombone) and saxophonist Greg Vail. Sabler and Brown teamed to write eight songs for the set, collaborating on compositions with Shane Theriot ("Crescent City Strut," "City Rhythm," "Three Dee," "Esselle's Dance" and "Tranquility"), Lew Laing ("Keep Pushin'" and "Where Has She Gone") and Jeff Carruthers ("Easy Moves").

The seeds of "Tranquility," which hit No. 7 on Amazon's New Releases in Jazz chart, were planted nearly two years ago when Sabler wrote, recorded and released "In The Light." He re-recorded his guitar parts for the slick cool jazz single that spent three weeks at No. 1 at WAVE.FM in Sabler's native Canada.

While in lockdown last May, Sabler issued "Keep Pushin'" as a single. It was the first track recorded using the guitar suggested by Brown. Sabler's 1967 instrument has an expressive tone that gives him a new sound on an electric guitar reputed for bringing high-quality amplification and high-quality acoustic sound together for the first time. The guitarist describes the chill groove with a sweet melody as a song that is "a subtle call for resiliency and the unwillingness to let up on the drive to press on during challenging times."

Theriot's New Orleans heritage informs Sabler's new single, "Crescent City Strut," which has earned Billboard's Most Added and Most Increased Plays honors in recent weeks. Like the Crescent City itself, the tune offers mystery, intrigue and seductive allure marked by crafty guitar play amplified by lush horn section work.

Another "Tranquility" highlight is "Esselle's Dance," an exquisite dalliance on nylon-string guitar that has already received over 800 plays on YouTube. "Tranquility" concludes by revisiting George Benson's "Sunrise," an apropos selection that ends the disc with the striking rays of hope and promise of a new day.

Below are excerpts from a couple album reviews:
"A memorable musical experience from start to finish, Tranquility is a modern day, instrumental jazz classic." - Roots Music Report
"Les Sabler's album Tranquility offers a select collection of exquisite guitar pieces that are rarely found." - Smooth Jazz Daily
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