Reviews of Rod's Tracks
Word on the Street
Review of "Funky Feeling"
Graham Johnson, DJ with Alive 90.5 Early Attitude Smooth Jazz Program
As the producer and presenter of two long-running smooth jazz programs in Sydney, Australia, I get a lot of new music come over my desk each week. It was a great pleasure to receive music from Rod Best.
His music well fits the smooth jazz genre. His keyboard playing coupled with lush backing gives tracks a solid sound. His music is groovy with some nice melodies, some bossa nova and latin touches.
I have been playing Rod’s music for some months now and he will remain in the playlist for some time to come. In a country where smooth jazz is a niche format, it is great to have artists like Rod Best leading the way.
Review of "The Best of Rod Best"
John Holden, Tuesday Lunch Break, 2BACR FM100.9, Sydney
It might seem a cliché to label someone the consummate musician, but in Rod Best’s case it’s an accurate description.
The piano player from Queensland has a knack of knowing just the right chord pattern to stimulate the listener’s inner most feelings.
The Best Of Rod Best CD is a delightful mix of smooth jazz tunes enhanced by toe-tapping Latin rhythms.
It could almost be mandatory to play a Rod Best tune first thing in the morning to put you in the right frame of mind for the rest of the day.
Best has devoted much of his life to training and developing singers and musicians as well as writing arrangements for small bands through to orchestras.
He studied jazz improvisation and advanced arranging at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney and his Best Of reflects this.
He has a wealth of experience in composition arrangement in jazz and contemporary keyboard styles.
The Best Of Rod Best contains 16 high quality instrumental tunes.
Acoustic piano, drums, bass, electric piano, guitar, organ, pads and synth lead are used to full advantage to produce sweet melodies and exquisite riffs.
My picks on the CD are All Of My Love, Climb Back Up, Drifter, Feel It, Walking, Quiet Reflection, Turn Up the Heat and the beautifully haunting Lasting Impression.
Best has studied under some great Australian jazz piano players like Tony Ansell, Mike Nock and Judy Bailey – obviously their talents have rubbed off on him.
In a world much in need of sensitivity and positiveness, this album is a shining light and deserves a 10 out of 10.
Music with a groove
Review of Rod's Music
“Passion travels through the veins of Rod Best. It drips like honey from his finger tips onto the keys. Listen to his music from “The Best of Rod Best” and other songs, for your heart, mind and soul will be transformed.”
Review of the CD "The Next Level"
Hailing from Gayndah, Queensland in Australia multi-instrumentalist Rod Best is an unknown factor for most smooth jazz fans. On the other hand, there are an enormous number of musical albums waiting to be discovered.
Listed on CDBaby are among others Best Of Smooth (2015), The Best of Christmas (2015), The Best of Rod Best (2016), A Peaceful Place (2018), and The Next Level (2019). In addition you find on his website the album Groove On (2018).
The album presents with The Next Level Rod Best striking of the piano keys to a sound-generating melody grabbing your attention immediately with power and conviction.
Comin' Home Baby is a song originally written by Ben Tucker. The most popular covers are by Herbie Mann and jazz singer Mel Tormé. Rod sets his own powerful accents on his interpretation. Left Alone Again reveals Rod's romantic vein showcasing his high infectious piano tinkle perfectly underlined with reverb effects.
Virtually flawless and beautiful the audience is impressed by Breathin' Smooth, an organic celebration of smooth jazz. Summertime is a jazz classic aria composed in 1934 by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. Rod approaches the familiar tune in a laidback bravura that resembles Bob Baldwin's piano style.
Night Groove leaves nothing to be desired in the melodic field. When selecting the accompanying instruments Rod likes to use the sound archive of his keyboard. Australians apply the term Cruisy for something easy-going and that is also the tendency of this piece.
Django is a harmonic rendition of a movie score of the big Western. Softly As A Morning Sunrise by Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein II is from the 1928 operetta The New Moon. Rod rises the tempo to make his rendition more attractive. Gentle Wave is a keen interplay between different keyboard sounds with accessible sonic magic.
The aptly titled Playing Sweetly expands Rod's concept of a multi-instrumentalist to nearly mellifluous perfection. When I Fall In Love is a popular song, written by Victor Young (music) and Edward Heyman (lyrics). It was introduced in the film One Minute to Zero (1952). Rod takes the melody with a lot feeling of intimacy.
How Insensitive is a Bossa nova song composed by Brazilian musician Antônio Carlos Jobim. Rod brings an multi-instrumental bent to this tune from deep within his own heart. Think Positive is not only the title but also the appropriate tonal implementation.
Rod Best's album The Next Level is a memorable matter truly dear to his heart. The best that can be achieved with the limited possibilities as a multi-instrumentalist and you can tell that Rod has a knack for beautiful compositions.
On the album "Soul Soothing"
Jeff Moses, from https://www.smoothjazzboston.com
Hi Rod thanks so much another masterpiece from you world-class all the way! We have added the entire album to your already existing playlist. Thank you for the honoured opportunity to broadcast your brilliant music all around the planet.