Launching his fourth decade as a recording artist, Les Sabler brings a dynamic new guitar sound to TRANQUILITY, his first album in four years, thanks to a brilliant suggestion by his producer, fellow guitarist and urban jazz hitmaker and Double Grammy winner, Paul Brown. Brown recommended that Sabler switch from his longtime axe to Brown’s vintage Gibson Johnny Smith model – an electric with unique acoustic qualities and an intricate balance of tone and sustain. Working with Brown’s longtime rhythm section and the punchy horns of Lee Thornburg and Greg Vail, Sabler brings fresh vibrancy, fluidity and sparkle to his trademark super melodic, coolly infectious mid-tempo style.
“Long recognized as possessing the magic formula for top notch contemporary jazz, Les Sabler has come roaring back with his brand new single ‘In The Light’. It is the kind of easy grooving number that succinctly demonstrates exactly what Sabler is all about.” • Dennis Poole / www.smoothjazztherapy.com
Written by Robert Silverstein
January 21, 2021
Back in 2014, guitarist / composer Les Sabler released his tribute album to Antonio Carlos Jobim and, following a move from Florida to Nashville, Les is back in early 2021 with a new studio CD called Tranquility. With ten tracks clocking in at under 40 minutes, the album pairs Les with guitar icon and co-composer / music producer Paul Brown along with a range of musicians including New Orleans native, guitarist / composer Shane Theriot, keyboardist Lew Laing and other fine musicians. Utilizing a vintage Gibson Johnny Smith guitar helped Les achieve a new electric guitar sound to which he says, “The guitar’s sound is a sonic departure from anything I had previously recorded.” Paul Brown is well known in the contemporary instrumental jazz world, going back to 2007 and his White Sand CD and that same sense of low-pressure smooth jazz groove is alive and well on Tranquility. Legendary guitarist, George Benson is referenced here on a Tranquility cover of Benson’s instrumental jazz classic “Sunrise”—the CD-closer that also spotlights Lee Thornberg (trumpet and trombone). Another highlight here called “Easy Moves” is an upbeat contemporary jazz classic showcasing swirling synth strings backing up Sabler’s guitar work. A number of musicians fill out the soundstage throughout the album, including Lenny Castro (percussion), Gorden Campbell (drums), Roberto Vally (bass) and others. Les has credited producer Paul Brown with the album’s direction and guidance. The finest album so far from Les Sabler, Traquility is overflowing with vibrant guitar harmonies, memorable melodies, and funky R&B grooves. A memorable musical experience from start to finish, Tranquility is a modern day, instrumental jazz classic.