Steve Cole – Without a Doubt (ENG review)

Mack Avenue - Release Date: October 6, 2023
Steve Cole - Without a Doubt (ENG review)

If you are a regular listener of Bayou Blue Radio, the name Steve Cole is probably not entirely unfamiliar to you, as we extensively featured his previous album “Smoke and Mirrors” on Bayou Blue Radio and also discussed it on Paris-Move in 2021 (review).
What Mack Avenue tells us about this album is that, having grown up absorbing bebop mixed with radio pop hits, critically acclaimed saxophonist Steve Cole has become one of the most celebrated and popular artists in contemporary jazz. With his new album, “Without a Doubt,” Cole collaborates with producer/composer Adam Hawley on a collection of original tracks that showcase the saxophonist’s energetic and dynamic signature, easily rivaling groups like the Commodores and Earth, Wind & Fire.
That’s the backstory, but this album is quite different from the previous one. Here, Steve Cole reaches the highest level of smooth jazz albums, not surprising since he has long played with the best artists in the genre, either in the recording studio or on stage, including Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Boz Scaggs, Larry Carlton, Jeff Lorber, Jim Peterik, Freddie Cole, Cyrus Chestnut, and KMFDM. He has been a featured soloist with the Prague City Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Steve is also a founding member of “The Sax Pack,” an exceptional trio of saxophonists completed by Kim Waters and Jeff Kashiwa.
All of these experiences come together here because artists of this caliber require years of hard work to digest all their experiences and make the best of what they have learned. It’s true that the first thing you notice is the overall energy of this new album and a formidable team of musicians accompanying him on this new adventure. It’s worth mentioning that the label Mack Avenue never makes a mistake in choosing the artists it takes under its wing. In the realm of smooth jazz, you can also find artists like Richard Elliot or Rick Braun, and albums of this caliber are hard to fault.
Highly recommended by the editors of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move, this album is deemed “Essential” and a must-listen.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, October 24th 2023


To buy this album

To buy “Without a Doubt” T-shirt