The WNUA CD Sampler is numbered 14 and "Hyde Park" is the headline Track #1. His sax is crisp and clear with an upbeat tempo that’s delightful. A choir flows in and out so beautifully that the alternate title to the song is the "Ahh Ooh Song." The style is so familiar, comfortable, I decide to trace it back to its origin. Plus, I wanted to know if it was about our Hyde Park or some other place.
First, I found that Jeff Kashiwa was and still is part of the Rippingtons, hence the very familiar sound. Then I saw that he is a Seattle native, so the connection to the Chicago neighborhood is tenuous at best.
Second, I found out that when he ventured out on his own solo career in 1995, many were surprised. He has since produced ten albums under his own name, the latest being “Let it Ride” in 2012.
Third, I found that in 2004 he hit upon an idea for a band after seeing a movie about the legendary Sinatra Rat Pack. He got together with fellow sax players Steve Cole and Kim Waters and they co-founded The Sax Pack. They tour regularly and are poised to release their third album this spring.
Last, he has another band which came to be called Coastal Access because they were playing so much in Florida and California that they were considering themselves bi-coastal. When Jeff’s wife saw signs on the California highways saying Coastal Access, she suggested it as the name and Jeff agreed. Talking about the group, Jeff says:
“. . .there is always a strong connection and camaraderie through humor and music which enrich all of our lives. I look forward to many more journeys, both musical and geographical, with these friends that have all become part of my family.”
Sounds like a great philosophy to me Jeff. I look forward to many more Ahhs and Oohs while listening to you, in all of your musical facets. And, someday you'll have to tell me about the exact origin of the title "Hyde Park."
~Lydia Barnes (email@example.com)
Our Smooth Video of the Day: Jeff Kashiwa and his biggest Smooth Jazz hit, "Hyde Park"