Album Review: A New Beginning

by rick grant
Artist: C1 Jazz Band
Having produced jazz fusion music back in the late 1970s, I’m amazed by the survival of this genre, now dubbed “smooth jazz”-a term I loathe. Nonetheless, I received a copy of C1 Jazz Band’s debut album, A New Beginning for my review. So, I checked it out, and I was pleasantly surprised by both the quality of the recording and the experienced musicianship displayed on this ten-song studio session.
The existence of so called smooth jazz radio stations has created a viable market for these groups. C1’s musical moods are eclectic covering a range from blues, and funk to soul. Still, with no vocals to add an identity to the music, the quartet improvises to original grooves and cover material. In this genre, C1 stands out because of their intelligently conceived compositions that serve as the anchor for their inventive improvisation.
The members of C1 include 35 year veteran guitarist and leader of the band, Ron Williams. Carlos “C-Lo” Peterson is the musical director and master keyboardist . On Sax is Michael “Bishop” Stevens who has many improvisational tricks up his sleeve. Veteran player, Jesse Reyes holds down a funky bottom line on bass. And, a truly gifted drummer, Willie Chambliss sets the groove on traps.
The band has been playing around the region at upscale venues such as the Omni Hotel, Florida Theater, the Jacksonville Landing, where they are very popular, World Golf Village, and Florida Community College. Recently, C1 won many new fans when they opened for the mighty Earth Wind and Fire.
The album, A New Beginning showcases a wide range of musical ideas and grooves. There are beautiful ballads and bluesy songs like “Jay Walking Blues.” The album held my interest and I was impressed by the slick arrangements and first class solos. C-Lo Peterson’s piano playing stands out with interesting references and advanced improvisation. This cat has bull chops. The CD is available at


april, 2022