It’s smooth sailing in paradise this week for urban-jazz trumpeter Joey Sommerville as one of the headliners aboard the star-studded Capital Jazz Cruise, but he will hit the ground running next week once the Caribbean voyage ends. Next Tuesday (Oct. 28), Sommerville will release his fifth album, “Overnight Sensation,” and two days later (Oct. 30) he will play an album launch concert in his adopted home of Atlanta at The Suite Food Lounge. In the meantime, the disc’s title track has been priming the pump in recent weeks as one of the most added radio singles.
“Overnight Sensation” is a snapshot of the artist and the man behind the music with nine new songs that he wrote or co-wrote inspired by his real life experiences over the past 20+ years. Sommerville also produced the set with seminal fusion keyboardist Jeff Lorber sharing the producer’s chair on a pair of tracks. The session incorporating R&B, funk, contemporary and straight-ahead jazz, go-go and blues includes spotlight solos from hall of fame guitarist Earl Klugh, edgy trombonist Jeff Bradshaw, emerging saxophonist Elan Trotman and journeyman guitar player Eric Essex. The offering is personal for Sommerville and he seizes the moment with expressive and lyrically astute trumpet and flugelhorn work while adding keyboards and acoustic piano, programming drums and synth bass, and singing lead and background vocals.
An energetic muted trumpet lead heralds Sommerville’s arrival on the album opener “Overnight Sensation” driven by a snappy piano and synth percussion rhythm. Klugh deftly spins a sensual web of acoustic guitar around Sommerville’s impassioned flugelhorn foreplay on “Desire.” Sommerville and Bradshaw unleash an imaginative rock-laced assault on Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” that swelters and swings. A “life of the party” Sommerville voices “Red Cups” utilizing a rump shaking go-go beat. Written on the occasion of his 17th wedding anniversary, Sommerville strips away the bravura revealing a husband still deeply in love with his wife without any regrets (“I don’t need a rewind”) despite enduring drama, struggles and trials while raising a family together. Voice quivering with emotion, he sings the vulnerable paean honoring their love, partnership, marriage and friendship. Lorber’s slick touch is all over the funky groove on “The Next Big Thing” and he even chimes in with an animated synth on the pre-chorus adding a bit of color and quirk. Sommerville’s declarative trumpet feeds the frenzy of jazz-funk with Trotman getting in on the action by dishing a cool sax solo. The bluesy and somber “Rebecca Of Birmingham” pays homage to Sommerville’s late grandmother giving Essex a chance to reflect with a searing electric guitar eulogy. “Karma” is a straight-ahead jazz meditation that ethereally floats trumpet and piano melodies on a shuffling beat. Harmonically rich “Forever” plays for keeps in a classic R&B setting. Back in full festive mode, Sommerville closes the collection with an invigorating jaunt along the anthem-like “The Passport Life.”
A popular, good-time performer on the concert and festival circuit, Sommerville has been featured on Grammy-nominated and Juno Award-winning recordings. He’s hoping that the quality of the songs, musicianship and production on “Overnight Sensation” will elevate his solo recording career to similar acclaim and accomplishment.