album reviews

Amsterdaam by GroovExpress

The handsome sounds of Groovexpress are one of sheer delight to fans of contemporary jazz and popular music. The group’s newest album titled Amsterdaam peaked at number #1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz charts back in September 2018 and festively enjoyed the Top 15 Billboard Jazz Album & Contemporary Jazz Album for eight consecutive weeks. Groovexpress is a collaborative effort that was formed in 2010 by composer and producer Mykeljon Winckel, who was able to bring an array of talented music veterans together. Groovexpress is composed of Mykeljon Winckel (guitar, vocals), Ernest Semu (piano), Anthony Hunt (organ), Robert Kyle (saxophones, flutes), Chris Tedesco (trumpet), Jim McMillen (trombone), Trinidad Sanchez III (bass), and Isaac Sanchez (drums, percussion).

The creative vibe of Groovexpress is embodied in their new album Amsterdaam. Comprised of eleven organically rich tracks, Amsterdaam is a full plate of heartfelt music that speaks to the soul of its audience. All tracks were composed and arranged by Mykeljon Winckel with much of the material being recorded in Los Angeles and New Zealand. Here is a track-by-track analysis of the album.

Amsterdaam by GROOVE EXPRESS

1- Amsterdaam – Opening with the title track Amsterdaam, listeners are skirted into the arms of Groovexpress’ intense musical landscape, wherein we get to hear an array band members introduce themselves through their favorite instrument of choice.

2- Geraldine – Painting a sonic picture of a woman’s ebb and flow gives Geraldine the beauty of sensuality through melody, brilliant! The brass section of this track is somewhat reminiscent of the legendary Ohio Players’ movements.

3 – In My Heart – This is a very groovy tune that plays the downbeat in guitar ballad form with a perfect saxophone lead for falling in love.

4- Oriental Journey – Upon entering this symphonious garden of delights, listeners can undress themselves of all their problems as the hands of the vibes and flute provide the perfect winged-instrument massage go to work.

5 – Just Before The Light – Opening a track with an intriguing bassline is a sure way to win your audience’s heart.

6 – Thin Blue Line – This track is invigorating and adds much depth to the Amsterdaam album’s continuity and overall upbeat vibe.

7- By My Side – Groovexpress reveal their genius through their inventiveness and “By My Side” is one composition that is a testimony of this very same attribute.

8- Stepping Stones – Opening with the exotic sounds of the flute and percussion, Stepping Stones is a dance that we are sure to learn but one that is rewarding and fun.

10 – Watch It Work – The guitar lead in this track is the talk of the town and its melody is as charming as a cup of coffee in the morning.

11- All Night Long – As the concluding track on the Amsterdaam album, Groovexpress leave things on a bright note with the special treats of hearing Mykeljon on the vocals. Bravo!

Amsterdaam is a thoroughly impressive treasure chest of musical gems and vintage rhythms. Groovexpress has struck a chord of abundance for the musically gifted, who take no delight in gimmicks but make the delectable choice in what they allow into their space. Amsterdaam is the calling card for the message that most contemporary jazz artists are trying to relate to the world and a reminder of how good music can be.

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3 replies »

  1. Thank you for your awesome review! Would love to hear your comments on track 9 ‘Blues on the outside’ – it seems to be unintentionally missed out – Seriously humbled by your words…

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  2. Thanks! I look forward to the additional track review. This was one of the surprise tracks for me, it just got better and better as it came together. My guitar solo on this track ‘Blues on the outside’ has been selected for the Grammy rounds. Here’s hoping! – Love Ohio Players, a great reference thanks.

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