(Trippin ’N’ Rhythm)
Under the moniker of Skinny Hightower, multi-instrumentalist Jason Carroll has enjoyed chart success with a Top 10, two Top 5s and a Number One Billboard single. The 34-year-old multi-instrumentalist grew up in Wichita, Kansas, where he started playing drums as a toddler, and later progressed on to piano and bass. His parents’ jazz and gospel records provided early inspiration, and he later discovered funk and fusion. Following a stint in the Army, Carroll started releasing music under the Skinny Hightower sobriquet, and the new double-album Blue Moon is his second outing for the Trippin ’N’ Rhythm label. Apparently, Hightower and company recorded some 100 songs, but whittled it down to the two dozen entries that appear over two discs. An homage to the ’70s soul jazz that so influenced Hightower, Blue Moon carries a distinct throwback vibe, albeit with up-to-the-minute production. The sultry title track features saxophonist Gene Shill’s sinewy tenor riding liquid rhythms provided by Hightower on bass and drums. The leader also lends some sparkling vibraphone and keyboard textures.