Can an instrumental piece tell a story? Can it give lessons and guidance; can it console, uplift, and speak, eloquently, about the human condition? In the hands of a master like Geno Marriott, it certainly can. Marriott spins tales with his soprano saxophone — each solo, each phrase, and each release is a complete thought, with a finely-wrought opening and a satisfying conclusion. Smooth jazz is the style, and he’s an exemplar indeed, but if you call him a short-story writer, you won’t be too far off the mark.
Consider “Take The Time; Smell The Roses,” the saxman’s newest single. It’s not inaccurate to describe it as three minutes of pure serenity, generated by a woodwind artist whose tone is as pure and sweet as a spring wind. It’s perfectly possible to appreciate the track like that, too. You can let it wash over you, soothe you, and ease you into a relaxed state of mind.