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PACIFIC LOUNGE album

PACIFIC LOUNGE

Space Junkies Magazine 2005
Looking for something to take to another place and time, perhaps somewhere quiet and carefree? Well, I have just the album for you! Jessie Allen Cooper and Tim Ponzek (on piano) have created the ultimate masterpiece when it comes to skipping off into a carefree and peaceful realm of your own. " Pacific Lounge" is nearly music you can lounge around to, yet enjoy all the comforts of soft yet dramatic "New Age" music. A tinkling piano combined with soft lulls of a saxophone, creates a perfect atmosphere for relaxing in. They couldn't have done this better.

New Connexion 2005
Great Sax and Piano combo to chill-out and relax with.

Accent On Tampa Bay 2005
Jessie Allen Cooper has created a unique sound on his Pacific Lounge album by having only two instruments ­ his saxophone accompanied by acoustic piano played by Tim Ponzek. The unusual recording, features a dozen carefully crafted tunes, was specifically designed as romantic relaxing music ­ a perfect prescription for everyone in today's hurries, stressful, noisy world.

The Messinger 2005
A dreamy duet using sax and piano for quiet introspections A soothing recording, for a quiet or romantic mood, performed by two excellent musicians.

On a cool cloudy autumn morning in Southern California I reflect on the songs in the album "Pacific Lounge" all these compositions portray and were inspired by LOVE. "Love is the highest form of communication, pure of purpose it knows no enemies. If love is found from purity of purpose light surrounds and protects that space. In the eyes of love golden feelings and memories can exist. Love can be sexual, lustful, innocent, and passionate. Love never leaves it only changes inside us sometimes from one moment to the next. When listening to this album during yoga except the calmness and allow the Love to create a healing result. The music can be used in a romantic dinner as a mood enhancer to help create a peaceful one on one or within a group of people wanting to "Chill Out ". Jessie Allen Cooper

JESSE ALLEN COOPER (with Tim Ponzek)
Pacific Lounge
Cooper Sound Waves (2005)
Pacific Lounge is a recording of sax (Jesse Allen Cooper) and piano (Tim Ponzek) duets that paints a subdued twilight picture of dreamy sunsets, walks on the beach with a special someone, and moments spent in quiet introspection. As such, the words "Sax and Piano to Chill-Out and Relax with" on the CD cover is a bit misleading, at least as my definition of "chill-out" stands, which is not to say that this music is anything but relaxing, because this is indeed a soothing recording. However, the use of "chill-out" connotes to a subgenre which, in my opinion, is more groove-oriented and urban-centered. Pacific Lounge is more concerned with setting a romantic and quiet mood, as I described it above. There are no rhythms on the album, except where imparted by the piano melody itself. Instead, the songs flow like a lazy river coursing through a gently rolling countryside.
Each player takes turns soloing on selected tracks but most of the time this is the epitome of a duet album as Cooper's sax gently swoops or flits and Ponzek's piano delicately prances in unison. The two musicians show a symmetry that only comes with artists who are clued in to each other and working toward a common goal, in this case, to instill a sense of quiet calm and beauty in these twelve instrumental tracks.
While songs do vary, the CD as a whole establishes and maintains a mood admirably. The title track opens in a wistful mood, owing mostly to Cooper's playing. Ponzek, as he does frequently throughout the album, shows restraint that borders on minimalism at times, yet allowing melodic sensibility to infiltrate and sweep over his playing. "Within A Thought" is more pensive, almost sepia-toned in emotive resonance, ideal music for a grey autumn day. And so it goes on with each successive track offering distinctly different yet similarly-themed variations on the above. Sometimes, things pick up the pace and brighten the mood somewhat, such as on the sunny "Thought For A Friend" or the cool jazzy "Waltz For An Artist" which swings with sexy playfulness. At other times, such as on "October Moon," Cooper switches from his usual soprano sax to the lower tenor and the resulting music is cast in the moody neon-glow from late night cafes and bars, as you walk city streets along with just a sprinkling of other denizens of the wee hours. The recording closes with "In A Silent Place" and it's an especially appropriate mellow concluding number featuring some of Cooper's most emotive work. He makes the sax sigh contentedly and Ponzek supports him with just the right amount of piano accompaniment to underscore the sensitive nature of the music.
Hopefully, the wording on the cover of this album will not steer listeners in the wrong direction. If you're looking for something hip and containing chill-out beats along the lines of any number of European lounge music albums, you're going to be disappointed. On the other hand, if the dreamier side of the sax (stripped of any smooth jazz characteristics, closer in feel to Paul Winter's style) is what you crave, Pacific Lounge is perfect for you. It's a very laid back yet not numbing collection of instrumentals that will relax you while also displaying the abundant talents of two excellent musicians. I give it a solid recommendation.

Bill Binkelman
Wind and Wire

 

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