At the End Of The Day
Many have asked for more smooth jazz tunes from Mars. At The End Of The Day includes 10 smooth jazz tracks which feature Mars' cool grooves, infectious melodies and sensual soundscapes. Musicians Greg Vail, Jeff Burak, Winslow Crockwell Jr. and Carlos Villalobos join Mars in this high-quality collection. If you like smooth jazz, you'll like this one.
Smooth Jazz Vibes.com
February 18, 2009
If you like prolific artists, how about an artist who manages to crank out an album or two each year with each being uniquely special in its composition one way or another? Such is the case with Mars Lasar who’s released over 20 albums and has a rather extensive resume of productions, arrangements, and other credits. We’re talking about affiliations with everyone from Seal to Herbie Hancock to Aerosmith! That’s about as eclectic and diverse as one can get, wouldn’t you say? This experience doesn’t go untapped with At the End of the Day, a project that, upon hearing, I was driven to review.
With an oft-common thread with the fresh silk of Paul Hardcastle, Lasar shows here on At the End of the Day, with the help of accomplished saxophonist Greg Vail (who adds a really nice touch), that he’s as comfortable with the vibe of smooth jazz and wears its grooves, as well as he, would with any element of new age (which still maintains a presence here), electronica or any of the other genres he’s noted for exploring and conquering. When I think about his previous themes of preserving our planet and resources, protecting our parks, etc., this project--though mostly created in a smooth jazz setting--is not so far removed from those earlier themes of environmental appreciation, with tunes like “A Drive Through Vineyards,” “City Skyline,” and “Sweet Summer Haze.”
The music here is addictively soothing and unimposing, yet boasts a heavy presence in the room just through its moving, lush melodies and smart, well-conceived hooks. In many cases, an album will put forth an up-tempo, driving piece as its opener to get the listener’s attention. To demonstrate Lasar’s confidence in his ability to capture a listener regardless of the type of tune that sets off his album, this album begins with a slow, hauntingly mellow little ditty called “Warm Nights.” It may not be the pacesetter for the entire album (just listen to the aforementioned “A Drive Through Vineyards,” as well as “Good Times” and “Uptown,” and you’ll get my point), but it’s certainly capable of influencing one to have a seat and give a good, hard listen to the fluid sweetness of the whole production. That fluidity strolls through each track seamlessly. The diversity here is quite satisfying and complete. For example, in addition to tunes I’ve already mentioned here, there’s “Come and Join Us,” which brings to mind the slinky, kinda bluesy cuts like Rick Braun’s “Cadillac Slim.”
Overall, just listen, and you’ll agree at the end of the day that Mars Lasar has a bonafide winner.
Review from NewAgeMusicWorld.Com / NewAgeMusic.nu,
By John P. Olsen / Review Publicist (United States)
This review is from: At The End Of The Day (Audio CD)
Mars Lasar is a man of many talents having touched the lives of millions of people while showcasing his innovative abilities during his lengthy career as a professional musician, along with his music-related artistic endeavours. His diverse discography ranging from New Age, Electronic, Contemporary Instrumental, World, Jazz, Ambient, Chill Out, Classical, and a host of sub-genres that have yet to be classified are all true classics.
At The End Of The Day creates a wonderful example since Classic Jazz is introduced to New Age in a manner that I felt lends itself to a high society level of sophistication, yet also in an easy-going approachable manner that gave me a relaxing right at home, wearing blue jeans comfortable feel too. My previous statement should give you some insight about what is in store for you, and how effective this man is with creating lasting beauty from contrasting images, yet there is so much more to discover from this album, plus the full scope of his vast discography.
Mars Lasar layers his mixing production talents to full advantage on every song in this Contemporary Jazzy 10 track album that highlights his artistic abilities in a just right, toast of the town in house feel. His fans will adore this release, being such a strong example of what they love, recognize, and have come to expect from Mars.
Here we find soulful saxophone driven melodies, considerately subdued from completely stealing the show while the keyboard, flute, and guitar melodies prove themselves just as capable while taking a turn in the solo spotlight. The song Uptown is a favorite among his fans who already own the album. Perhaps they recognise this fine example since fusion between old school Jazz and Contemporary Jazz are intertwined to reach a thoughtful commingling of the two styles.
Mars Lasar has an enduring ability to captivate an audience with his music by personal adaptability, mindful at using technical leverage, while also generating a creative spark of imagination. I believe these skills, plus his strive for perfection is how Mars can offer a higher level of versatility simply not present with many artists within many genres.
The song Warm Nights is a mid-tempo, Jazz festival of fun, where guitar and percussion first set an atmosphere like a playful night in a downtown club. Just like being there, an illustrated solo saxophone player sharp and colorfully dressed plays a warmly lit tune that contrasts well with the darker shades presented during the first few measures in tonal background images.
Our first observations of the atmospheric intensity of the music are noted by the upward raised saxophone and soulful eyes closed expression made during the opening woodwind solo. Everyone can clearly see the seated piano player is all smiles while making their keyboard runs in distinct counter beat with saxophone while upper octave piano notes twinkle in unison, exactly as our solo performers glance at one another to give a quick nod and wink of approval.
Come And Join Us is a nicely done Jazz mix with an inviting tone that keeps the momentum going in a positive upbeat direction. When the bass cello player starts this in house session with a resonating pluck of the strings and then several spins of the cello, the rhythm is set by the warmer tones and expertly delivered bass runs that capture the crowd's approval right from the beginning.
Joining in the session, piano and flute quickly step forward to contribute their fragrant ambience by taking turns during moments of improvisation while the crowd waves their raised hands back and forth to the beat. Everyone moves closer to the stage as our saxophone player once again steps into the spotlight with a dramatic solo while flute makes note filled runs, then several trills during each refrain as percussion place their cymbal taps and well-timed snare beats with exacting precision.
We notice every instrument sparkles brightly under the lighting while all players make their runs through the scales in this album having an uptown beat, capturing the moment and memories for the entire evening in the final closing notes. Then, as everyone slowly starts to leave and the band begins to pack, it is pretty clear the audience was captivated by the sights, sounds, and sensations, after just having heard this album produced by Mars Lasar that mirrors the very ultimate in the downtown Jazz experience.
Reviewed by Michael Debbage
Solo Piano Publications.com
Mars Lasar has always been an artist who is on the cutting edge. With that attribute comes an artist that refuses to stereotype himself and who has explored themes such as evocative nature recordings, electronic chill-out, ambient to straight-up reflective lullabies. A brilliant artist, his listening public can always expect the unexpected. This time around Lasar explores smooth jazz with the unique touch one has come to expect from Mars, emphasizing mood over melody.
Upon the opening bar of the album, you immediately realize that you are in for a unique blend of mainstream smooth jazz with a twist of Lasar drum loops and sound manipulation that he is famous for. Most of the album focuses on the sensual smoky jazz feeling with significant assistance coming from the in-demand session player Greg Vail on saxophones and flute. The album also includes one vocal track, “Sometimes” that features the chanting of Cadence. But without a doubt, the highlight of the album is “Sweet Summer Haze” which presents the albums most distinct and obvious melody. Though smouldering in the smooth jazz genre, the song is smothered in a Lasar melody and it is probably the most commercial effort on the album with “Once Upon A Star” coming a close second.
Keeping his artistic integrity in line, if you are a fan of the smooth jazz genre with a slight twist, at the end of the day this is an album worth exploring.
KCSN FM's Galactic Voyager:)
I have heard a lot of smooth jazz music. I only like this kind of music if it's done well. Sometimes the pieces can be generic and indistinguishable from one work to the next. Mars Lasar's album At the End of the Day manages to sound distinctive. While it has elements of smooth jazz, it has the signature Mars Lasar melodies, rhythms, grooves, and ambience I've come to expect. Mars has managed to pull off a great release. Congratulations and thanks.
Filmmaker Derek K. Milton
British Columbia, Canada
Anyone who is a fan of Mars Lasar and of course is familiar with his music, if you were to ask them what they like about his work, their answers would be diverse. Reason being, his music cannot be narrowed down to one thing. However, those die-hard fans out there such as myself, who truly love what Mars brings to our ears, there is one thing he delivers that we all can count on - unbridled feeling. His latest work, 'At the end of the day' is no exception.
This new album encompasses a few elements which much be addressed. First of all, the unique original sound and evident passion Mars always brings to his music. He has a beat... a melody... a sensation that is so independent of itself, the moment one hears it they know exactly who it is immediately. Throw into the mix a wonderful sprinkling of carefully placed sax, keyboards and guitar, the end 'smooth jazz' result is a journey of truly satisfying movement. Whether it be the classic and sexy title track 'At the end of the day' or the sensual 'Sweet Summertime Haze' or the deeply melodic and beautiful 'Once upon a star', these lavish tracks, along with the rest of this first-rate album is a must-have for any music lover's collection. He has done it again folks... he has given us magic.