Review from Kimmy Sophia Brown - The Significato Journal
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.
Review from Rotcod Zzaj - Improvijazzation Nation
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
Excerpt from Ronald Jackson - The Smooth Jazz Ride
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.
Excerpt from Cyrus Rhodes - The Muse's Muse
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.
Excerpt from Denis Poole - Smooth Jazz Therapy
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.
Excerpt from Hans-Bernd Hulsmann - Smooth & Soul Starportrait
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.