Like any smart up-and-comer in contemporary jazz circles, the amazingly nimble keyboardist John Novello
knows that to bring out the best in sax-driven melodies, you hire the best: Eric Marienthal
. The saxman's glowing contributions make Too Cool
live up to its name most of the time, while Novello
provides the silk, funk, and spicy improv a synth whiz should in order to leave a distinctive impression in the pop-jazz listener's ears. A few of the instrumentals make for some of the smoothest listening of that year, but the vocals by Novello
's wife Gloria Rusch
distract enormously from the instrumental joys of the disc.