New Latitude is an acoustic string group with David Erickson and Jim Carr (guitars), Deon Kuhl (percussion), Rick Brough and Bob Strickland (upright bass). This is the group’s third album release.

The album offers a range of genre types. The album opens with “Alpine Bliss,” a piece with a gentle jazz-folk feel, lovely harmonies, and a perky melody. Track 2 “Cruising Altitude” picks up the pace with a bouncy upbeat swing. Track 3: “Dias Calientes” is a Latin piece that features high speed picking with a characteristic Latin rhythm. The jazzy chord progressions set it apart from typical Latin pieces. Track 4: “Open Road” returns to a joyful jazzy-swing song with a fun melody. The pace slows with Track 5: “Alpenglow.” This thoughtful piece is followed by Track 6 “A Serious Man.” It’s an interesting title for a song that has such an exuberant major-mode melody and a bouncy, foot-tapping bass line.

Track 7: “Windmills” is a pensive ballad with a change of texture that’s needed for variety at this point in the album. Track 8: “Old Friends” is a jazz-pop style song that demonstrates the tight coordination between the players. The final Track 9: “Prismatic Sky” is the most sweetly romantic song on the album. The melody wanders above gorgeous layers of picked accompaniment.

Songs on the album run from three to four minutes each. The musicianship is top-rate and the production values are pristine. This is a great album for easy-listening. The songs remain upbeat and positive throughout with pulsing rhythms.

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artist: New Latitude
released January 2020
9 tracks, 32 minutes. mp3 $9.99