The thing about jazz instrumentalists, is that unless you are in tune with the artist’s sound or tone, you may not know who is playing when their song comes on. You do not have that problem with Steve Oliver. He has a distinctive guitar sound, and you will know a Steve Oliver song when you hear it.
So when did I first hear of Mr. Oliver? I heard this song called High Noon on the radio. That is off the Positive Energy album from 2002. This actually coincided with the start of the Smooth Jazz Mix series. For the first mix project, I wanted tracks that were uptempo, but not too fast. High Noon was exactly the type of song that I wanted, so I actually built the first mix around that track.
Not too long after that, I heard another track called Chips and Salsa. That track is off the 3D album from 2004. There were two things that immediately caught my attention. The guitar tone that I mentioned earlier, and also the scat singing along with the melody. I’ll tell you what, if I was a guitarist, I would scat along with pretty much all of my songs. For me, scatting just hypes the song a little more.
Anyway, after hearing Chips and Salsa, I had to hear more from this artist. The 3D album is full of great tracks. Magic World, You Rescued Me, and my favorite – In The Shade Of Cool.
After hearing that album, I officially became a fan. By the way, the Radiant album is pretty hot also. Be sure to check out Feeling Good, Cool, and Bend Or Break. I am sure you will like those tracks.
Oliver has nine albums, plus the Live album from 2008, and the Snowfall Holiday album from 2006. They are all good as far as I am concerned.
Oliver will perform on select dates through October, and I am sure more dates will be added to the schedule.
Here is what we have so far: