Thursday, November 30, 2017

PARK PLACE-Steps (2011)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: November 30, 2017

Do not pass 'GO!', do not collect $200 dollars and don't even advance all the way to Boardwalk! Park yourself right here at PARK PLACE and tune in to "Steps", the best contemporary soul and smooth jazz album that I've listened to in recent months! While I was checking out my recommendations list and came across a song entitled "Out Of Time" by a Romanian dance group that also calls itself PARK PLACE, I somehow ended up discovering tonight's featured ensemble (that tends to happen a lot in my music explorations). As I understand it, a revolving lineup of singers have served as the lead vocalist over the years, but the main performer on this "Steps" album is the soulicious former "American Idol" contestant, Donnie Williams. From the moment I heard his rich and powerful voice singing to me on the opening track, " Travelin' ", I was completely entranced! Love my smooth jazz jams, and this definitely perked up my receptive audio senses to take in the other elegantly-produced smooth jazz selections that come thereafter on what I soon realized was an inspirational and spiritual journey. Indeed, offerings like "Higher Power", "Heaven's Paradise", "Someday We'll All Be Free" (the fluttery flute accompaniment is my favorite part about the music on that one) and "Darkness To Light" push forth the theme of motivating listeners to yield and give praises to The Holy One, while other selections like "Darkness To Light" and "Music Land" offer comfort and companionship through whatever troubles you might be facing in life. The journey concludes with an excellent slow jazz groove serving as the backdrop to a spoken word dialogue between Donnie and another guest female speaker—a detailed twelve-step guide to aid you in your progress towards spiritual prosperity:

1. Travelin'
2. I Ran
3. Beautiful Heart
4. Morning Star
5. Music Land
6. Higher Power
7. Someday We'll All Be Free
8. Darkness To Light
9. The Power
10. Wishes
11. Heaven's Paradise
12. Steps

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