on 4 September 2011
This album slipped out without too much fanfare, with the official website and MySpace barely acknowledging it. That's a shame, as it should really have reached a wider audience by now. Especially when you consider the line up of guest musicians featured on the record. Earlier in 2011, Al Jarreau was being picked up in mainstream press with a greatest hits package and tour, yet he's on two tracks here and very little mention of it anywhere.
To the music. Deodato is behind the Fender Rhodes once again, and not only does this hark back to the classic CTI records, but some of his licks sound like they are lifted from them. Notably, this record is jazzier than others before it. It could stand next to Incognito in a DJ mix easily as well, with dance floor traction throughout. Al Jarreau serves on "I Want You More" which is a Bossa duet with the Italian jazz and pop group Novocento and is credited with "Double Face" which opens the album.
The pick is the title track "The Crossing", purely because it is HEAVY. In contrast to the light jazzy feel of the other tracks, this one weighs in and carries its own. UK group Londonbeat feature, and the edge is noticeable from the introduction. One of Deodato's traits is to have long periods for the musicians to solo, but this one is more route one, grabbing you by the lapels and reminding you of what the man is still capable of achieving.
Look out for Billy Cobham, Airto and John Tropea who are all - incredibly - on the record, Make time for the three instrumentals too, with the standard "Summertime" receiving a full orchestral response to Deodato's keys. All in all, it's a reassuringly good record, with some really great tracks, but it just doesn't make sense that it has received next to no attention given the roll call of legends appearing on it.