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Smooth jazz? No … Contemporary jazz? No, try again. Curtis Stigers‘ Let’s Go Out Tonight is a critic’s worst nightmare, as it sidesteps both his past impressive discography and the current plethora of sub-genres dotting the jazz landscape. Let’s Go Out Tonight is a fresh, inspired and rather eclectic look at some of what most would consider the more alternative takes on artists including Richard Thompson, Jeff Tweedy and even the great Bob Dylan.
Opening with a soulful riff on the Bob Dylan classic “Things Have Changed,” this Oscar winning song from Wonder Boys helps set the musical tone if not jump start an organic pulse that creeps through the release with well placed jazz sensibilities coupled with an alternative soul spin on tunes that seem to linger long after the last note.
An admittedly somewhat auto-biographical release, there was obviously a great deal of attention in song selection, with the end result a flawless ebb and flow. The potential soundtrack to a marvelous cinematic masterpiece waiting to be made, these are tunes rooted in real emotion and delivered with the type of sincere conviction seldom heard in the age of the digital download. “You Are Not Alone” was written by Jeff Tweedy for Mavis Staples and is delivered in a subtle, almost country influenced soul that works incredibly well based on the simplicity of the tune itself.
One of the more stunning works on Let’s Go Out Tonight is the heart wrenching Steve Earle tune “Goodbye.” The message of the tune is the amount of time wasted blocking out what’s going on around us and the at times self destructive fashion that this can easily take.