Whether you’re an instrumental guitar fan or not, you’ll find the music that guitarists Jim Carr and Dave Erickson have assembled for you here to your liking.  One reason is that compositions like the splendid opener, “New Day“, are total originals… which means (in my mind, anyway) that the energy levels for the playing will be much higher!  Stylistically, they’re really hard to “pin down”… you certainly can’t “lump them in” with all the others, because they project an aura of loving care for their talents and are completely willing to share them with the listener… the 4:04 “Foothills Wonder” is a perfect example of how tightly they weave their guitar tales for you.  Of the eleven tunes offered up, though, I found the high-energy “14 & Green” to be my personal favorite… an all-round talent extravaganza.  I give these folks a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.97 – perfect aural adventure to close out the issue with!  Get more information at the New Latitude website.  Rotcod Zzaj - Improvijazzation Nation

Each song here is an original, from the brightness of the lead track “New Day” to the lumbering easiness of “Sunset” that can easily find one strolling along a quiet beach with a companion or in deep solo reflection to the high-steppin’ “Trailblazing” to the light & airy “14th & Green”  and beyond. Each track demonstrates a sweet and alluring melody, great guitar interplay, and a full-bodied magnetic pull unique unto itself. ​There is smooth jazz, and then there’s this acoustic brand of smooth jazz/uncategorized, wonderfully elusive beautiful music that we can easily accept under our wide umbrella of contemporary jazz – as we have been known to do in the past. Welcome New Latitude. They certainly more than deserve to be under that umbrella. Ronald Jackson - The Smooth Jazz Ride

Jazz guitar has a language all its own. New Latitude, comprised of Jim Carr and Dave Erickson, used skill and intuition to create eleven lovely duets. “New Day” sounds like part of a soundtrack for an upbeat scene in a movie. I wonder if Dave got the inspiration for the song “Trailblazing” from skiing or some other energizing sport. I’m guessing “Seven Falls” was inspired by a place in the Rocky Mountains near Jim’s home. Many of the compositions are themes written in honor of nature. “No Matter What” sounds like it could be an old Wes Montgomery piece. If you like calming jazz guitar, you’ll like this CD. The artists and backup musicians have created a tight and enjoyable album featuring beautiful interplay between the two guitarists. Eduardo Bijoux Barbosa, David Young and Deon Kuhl contribute outstanding back up on bass, drums and percussion. The production and arrangements are top flight. This album deserves to get a lot of airplay on jazz stations. Please visit their website at newlatitudemusic.com to learn more.  Kimmy Sophia Brown - The Significato Journal

This mellifluous eleven-song CD of all original music invites comparisons with Acoustic Alchemy and is a welcome diversion from the proliferation of sax-centric contemporary jazz that has been such a feature of 2014. Take for example the extremely pleasing ‘New Day’ that proves to be the perfect way to get the album started and which builds a fine bridge to tracks such as ‘14 & Green’ (that is underpinned by a folksy vibe) and the delightfully introspective ‘Fleeting Passage’. Equally thoughtful is the charming ‘Reflections’ while elsewhere ‘Trailblazing’ finds the boys upping the tempo in a way the title suggests they might.  Truth to tell, once ‘Convergence’ hits its melodious stride great tunes just keep on coming.  Cases in point are the complex (but still accessible) ‘Seven Falls’ and ‘No Matter What’ which evolves into an easy grooving gem of the highest order. Indeed, as ‘Convergence’ winds to its tranquil end, the listener isleft to reflect that here is a band with the potential to fill an undoubted gap in an otherwise crowded smooth jazz market. Denis Poole - Smooth Jazz Therapy

The main interactive feature of the two guitarists is the flowing intermeshing note string that weaves itself into a dense carpet of sound like on Fleeting Passage. Songs like Reflections are very harmonious, consistent and have their charm for supporters of the acoustic guitar. Starter of the album is the guitar piece New Day, which comes as a madrigal at first glance before assuming fiery traits. Sunset is an eccentric mixture of reggae and structured fugal guitar harmony. Trailblazing is the practice of marking paths in outdoor recreational areas with blazes. The duo marks with this piece their most personal track. If the number 14 is incident on the color green, then 14 & Green may radiate their own magic. Seven Falls is a series of seven cascading waterfalls of South Cheyenne Creek in South Cheyenne Canyon, Colorado. This piece is a tribute to this natural spectacle. Hans-Bernd Hulsmann - Smooth & Soul Starportrait


This dynamic Duo is on to something here as they navigatethrough each piece flawlessly. Both Erickson and Carr are master guitarists/soloists and clearly know how to fill the sonic space with amazing playing that flows across the ears like fine wine. At times can be passionate, aggressive and tenacious, hypnotic and passionate - other times fluid and flowing. The music itself goes down smooth and fills the atmosphere with what I would describe as peaceful Americana Smooth Jazz tranquility. All in all the CD has some truly impressive moments showcasing impressive playing, world class songwriting, playing, chops and dynamic grooves all rich in melody and flavor. ​After spending some quality time with “Convergence” by New Latitude it's hard to find any solid weaknesses worth mentioning. Instead as the CD progressed I became more and more impressed with the production as a whole. CD refuses to try too hard and is in itself an impressive musical production from start to finish. There’s not really a weak song on this entire catalog period! The songs are infectious, catchy and cover a wide range of musical styles. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Both Dave Erickson and Jim Carr are not only world class players, they are also both talented musical visionaries not afraid to push the acoustical musical boundaries to the maximum.  Cyrus Rhodes - The Muse's Muse

“Easy-listening with a side of bliss. Skilled and warm. Sharp and smooth. Crisp and free. New Latitude’s latest studio album, Wood Steel and Grace, is a relaxing, inspiring, rejuvenating and daydreaming exercise in musical depth. An acoustic guitar album at its core, each player has found his wheelhouse in that no one ever gains—or loses—his relevance. For, this album is truly the sum of its parts—strings to tubs, as the musical relationship between them is ever present in their veteran delivery. In sum, a lovely instrumental album, clearly made with that intention by a few masters of their craft. It could only be a win.”  The Ark of Music

“Noted for their ability to move fluidly across genres, New Latitude have created a work full of vibrancy that sparkles, dancing off the pages, captivating the emotions as they take you from jazz, to rock, via a dash of new age and all somehow with a Latino thread of pulsating rhythm running through each of the pieces.” Janet Mawdesley - Blue Wolf reviews

“There’s always something stirringly magical about acoustic guitar when played with excellence, and these guys know the instrument as intimately as anyone who’s highly regarded in this area.  The entire album is quite mesmerizing and melodically pronounced, and it was difficult for me to choose favorite tracks…” Ronald Jackson-The Smooth Jazz Ride

“The well-rehearsed team manages to achieve an incredible harmony. The high recording quality is also remarkable, with many nuances being audibly displayed.”  Hans-Bernd Hulsmann 

“There’s always something stirringly magical about acoustic guitar when played with excellence, and these guys know the instrument as intimately as anyone who’s highly regarded in this area.  The entire album is quite mesmerizing and melodically pronounced, and it was difficult for me to choose favorite tracks…” Ronald Jackson-The Smooth Jazz Ride

"Erickson and Carr evidently possess keen understanding of effective music composition, and have created an elaborate array of fluid guitar arrangements that complement each other perfectly. However, the greatest facet to this album comes from it’s truly decisive and well-crafted melodies. Often simplistic and subtle when considered from an isolated perspective, New Latitude’s seasoned musicianship and overall interpersonal synergy transforms melody into an enveloping, refreshing experience that that absolutely exudes creativity and originality."

"One of the most difficult elements of music composition is creating a melody, playing with the melody, and exploring musical avenues around that melody in a fresh and unique fashion. New Latitude proves they are capable of this task in multiple instances throughout Vantage Point, considering dynamic and sophisticated compositions such as “The Journey” and “Birds of Prey”. The main melody in “Victorious” is perhaps one of the top fifty greatest melodies written over the past three years in any genre of music." ​Owen Matheson - Gashouse Radio​

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