JaR Reviews

A note from Jay, November 22, 2009:

Randy and I thank all of you for your very kind words!

Here's some info as to the CD. When we started the JaR writing process, Randy and I decided there were to be no rules as to song style, structure, chord changes, lyrics, etc. One thing we always strive for is a melody that is easy to remember and when we can, we take chances with non-expected chord changes. Randy writes great lyrics!!!

As to the arrangements, we really thought out what to play and especially not what to play meaning we wanted to allow as much space in the sonic picture as possible. We avoided obvious string pads (any pad) unless really needed.

As to guitar parts, I did my best to find parts that worked well and did not take up too much room. As to the guitar solos, I just play as I usually do, which is scary as I just try to hang on going from one idea that pops in my head trying to connect to another other idea while thinking about the chord changes, scales, and alternate scales along with listening to the drums for the "feel" and "time". While doing all of that, I try to put in as much emotion as possible. An energy drainer but I must admit I like the challenge.

I humbly state Randy and I are doing our best to keep quality music alive.

Jay Graydon

Reviews on the first JaR album - SCENE 29

"You guys have taken the torch from Steely Dan and have run miles and miles ahead" - Steve Lukather

"JaR's new album, Scene 29, is gonna' be one of those albums that you can gauge your "I'm Hip" quotient by how much earlier you've heard it than your friends. I think this album will eventually be considered the flagship of the new music. The new music is what is created after the "suits" gave up on the "biz". Anyway, I've known these guys for years and I had no idea that this stuff was in there. Well, now it's out here and we're all happy about it. Man, it's rare to play an album and still have your heart racing an hour later, especially someone else's album. Good work, guys." - Bill Champlin

This is the stuff a formal contemporary jazz student should be studying (and probably does!). - Ronald Jackson of smoothvibes.com.

"I use to compare everything recorded in the past 20 years to Donald Fagen's "The Nightfly". Now there's a new industry standard for music, and it's called ... "JaR"! Jay's astounding guitar wizardry and Randy's stunning keyboard prowess is the crux of a project filled with brilliant complex harmonic compositions, ear candy smooth vocal performances, and thick transparent sounding mixes. This is soon to be "legendary" recording!" - Tom Hemby

"I just got my copy of Scene 29 and absolutely love it! Great music is hard to find, great music well produced is even harder, great music produced well by great people is rare indeed. I am happy to be able to tell the world - all the good music isn't gone, it's just moved to the JaRZONE!" - Mike Hedden www.danleysoundlabs.com

West coast music at it's best...
author: J. J. Van Vliet
From start to finish, this album is a masterpiece. The songs all sound so fresh and clear, and the production by Jay Graydon is, as always, simply superb. Listening to this for the first time, i was pleasantly surprised by the intelligent and sometimes humorous lyrics. Not too many songs on relationships here, but a pleasant mix of subjects, all played and sung in a jazzy, lively way faintly reminiscent to the stylings of steely dan. Both Randy and Jay's vocals compliment each other throughout. I've always been a huge admirer of the guitar legend that is Jay Graydon, and on this album he showcases his versatality to the max!!

Hey Guys,
author: Justin
I just wanted to drop you a note and tell you what incredible music you are producing. I haven't heard lyrical and musical combinations like this since Steely Dan! I have just recently become exposed to Jay and his incomparable abilities, and JaRzone is my first exposure to Randy, but he's got a new fan as well! Just wanted to thank you for the wonderful music...I was a huge Warren Wiebe fan...I would love to do BG Vocals for you guys on something! Keep up the great work!

author: dominik seelos
i tried so many new cds lately, but the record i (still) listen to over & over again is "scene 29". have a great day. regards & respect from switzerland, dominik.

Wow!! GREAT - as expected from these legends :-)
author: Per Thomsen
Graydon and Goodrum together - perfect! Thank you!!

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Comments on the THE CABO CAD video

author: pukkie2310
What a team.Where can I order this fantastique cd.

author: claskew1
This is what Steely Dan wants to be!

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Comments on the YOUR HEARTBREAK video

author: jcabbot
This CD is a modern masterpiece - I can't stop listening to it. It's a shame that more people don't know about it. I keep buying it and giving it as a gift.

author: pukkie2310
Yes,this is the music.Man Jay graydon still the best.

author: remyleloup
a superb team who lives for music, please bring back quality keep up the great work!! love you both!!!

author: FountainSongs
Sounds like a Steely Dan song. I like it!

author: timreyes58
thanks for posting this. Absolutely brilliant. this kind of genius is humbling. Love the solos, singing and chords. Thanks again!!

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Scene 29 is fantastic
author: Ross Storey
Guys, I just picked up the album after hearing Jay's riotous interview on InsideMusicast. I've got a bunch of things that both have played on or written but not much of the solo projects (really liked Rake & the Surftones, though). In this case, Scene 29 is a home run, perhaps some of your best work. The tunes pack really instant hooks, but I'm finding there's more depth there on repeat listens, too. Some of the lyrics (and topics) are more interesting than the norm, and the chord changes are great. Jay gets in some perfect guitar solos. Having been a fan of things like Steely Dan, Pages, and Toy Matinee/Kevin Gilbert, it's probably no surprise that I like this, but Scene 29 has its own niche. This is probably one of the most exciting "finds" I've heard in several years.

Thanks for making it, and I hope circumstances and finances will permit another.

JaR -- Scene 29
author: Ronald Jackson at www.smoothvibes.com

JaR's brand of contemporary jazz is unique and appealing in many different ways. Its Steely Dan feel, tone, chord phrasings, and stinging guitar riffs are quite polished and sophisticated. I remember shying away from the later Steely Dan material (post-"Countdown to Ecstasy" or maybe later) when I was regularly playing guitar because I found their intricate chords and techniques somewhat intimidating. I thought then: Nobody will ever be able to tap and emulate that sound! Well, judging from JaR's moving project here, Scene 29, I was apparently very wrong.

The witty and deep lyrics, coupled with chords reserved for serious jazz along with a jolt of the acidity of rock make for a rather cerebral production of monumental proportions. This is the stuff a formal contemporary jazz student should be studying (and probably does!).

I have to admit that, when I first opened this CD and read the 2nd page of the liner notes, I was put off by what appeared to be self-serving and very esoteric rant about "level wars" and the "over-compression" of music in the studio. How many average listeners really care about that?, I thought. Sure, musicians may get it, but are they the audience?? However, after listening to this quality product—while I still feel that the esoteric chatter was unnecessary—the feel of this one is spot on in terms of capturing the essence of the genre. Walter Becker and Donald Fagen must be impressed! Tunes like "Cure Kit", "Call Donovan", "Make Somebody" (a tune that reminds me of another cool artist, Raul Midon), the title track, and "GPS" convinced me that the snap, crackle, and pop of this style is alive and well, thanks to this superb duo. By the way, some may ask: Who are these guys? Well, let's look into that.

Among his many acknowledgements over the years, guitarist Jay Graydon was once nominated by the Grammy board as Studio Guitarist of the Year. One of the most notable achievements for me is that he was also the soloist chosen over several other auditioning guitarists by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker for the legendary guitar solo on the tune "Peg" on the duo's "Aja" album. Ah, so that's why he seems so comfortable and familiar with the "Dan" sound! Graydon played on practically every "A" list session in Los Angeles, acquiring a glowing reputation as an ace studio guitarist/solo specialist on numerous albums with all the major artists of the era, including the Motown luminaries such as the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Supremes, Diana Ross, and on and on. He was voted the second favorite guitarist in the world by the readers of the Japanese music magazine, ADLIB. His 2006 solo album at the time, "Past to Present - the 70s," was ranked by that magazine as number 9 of the favorite albums.

Another major notable: Some may already know Jay Graydon as the key songwriter/producer for smooth crooner Al Jarreau during the '80s. That could surely raise a few eyebrows, considering the appeal of Jarreau then, as well as now.

As for Randy Goodrum, as a most prolific songwriter/producer, he has had songs recorded by such diverse artists as Phoebe Snow, Tammy Wynette, Gladys Knight, Earl Klugh, Alabama, Ray Charles, Chaka Kahn, and a multitude of others.

Goodrum has also performed on keyboards on hundreds of recording sessions with such legendary artists as Chet Atkins, Roy Orbison, Dionne Warwick, Steve Perry, Earl Klugh, DeBarge, Al Jarreau, Steve Wariner, and George Benson.

Goodrum's numerous awards include being inducted into the prestigious Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame in October 2000. He has also won dozens of ASCAP Songwriter and Publisher Awards for the many hits throughout his career.

So, you can see how beneficial and electrifying the union should be between these two. The evidence is already present in this debut product. Scene 29 should be the promising start of something that just may be quite a long and fruitful partnership, much to the delight of listeners.

Best music I've heard in a long time!
author: Leo Hernandez

These album is pure music genius, very rearly can you listen to an entire CD and be captured by every song from beginning to end. I've listend to my copy every day. I'm speachless so just buy it and hear for yourself, these cats are the best at what they do.

Thanks for Scene 29
author: Joe Henry

Hi, Just purchased the Scene 29 album. Wanted to say thank you to Jay and the other writers & musicians - absolutely fantastic music. Love it.

Not well known here in the UK (I'm in Scotland) - I didn't realize the range of work that Jay does - thought he was a session guitarist (albeit a mega one - Peg solo is my fav of all time). The writing is fantastic. I'll spread the word of mouth.

author: Steve
I am totally and completely hooked on this album. It is insanely good. Record of the Year!

author:Stephen Johnson
Buy this CD now. If you love the Dan you will love this . Jay Graydon and Randy Goodrum have put together a smart and musical set of tunes that will keep your foot tappin' and head waggin'. Can't say enough about this release. In a music land of grey this is technicolor. Guys, I'm totally blown away by the CD.

author: Brandon
Strong songs, some of the best IMHO by Jay and Randy. As for the video, Randy, great to see you! Thanks for letting us in on the hang. Curious how long the album took to conceive, and execute. Lots of character on the tunes. I'll be listening to for awhile. Thanks again Who is playing the Bass and Drums?

author: stratplayer96
These guys are phenomenal, this music stimulates parts of my brain I forgot were there. I have been waiting for something like this!

author: Steve Recendez
I can't tell you how much I love this album. Randy was kind enough to give me a copy at the NAMM show. The guitar playing of Jay Graydon is truly inspiring, in one word; "Tasty". The Virtuous keyboard playing of Randy is soothing to the soul. What really hits home with me is the vibe of the songwriting going on. The best I have heard in many, many years. Steve Lukather was totally right!

Best album in this Year!!

author: Konstantin Terekhov
This is for Steely Dan fans.Cool idea, music and recording!! Just Great

author: Eiji Yamaguchi
Every home should have one. Every time I listen this album, find something new. Please keep making music Jay.

JaR - Scene 29
author: Rick Ferrante
I wish I knew how Jay Graydon comes up with his guitar parts..... then I wish I knew how he manages to play them like he does..... Amazing... to say the very least! Great stuff!

Jay, & Randy; Please feel free to post this on your webpage reviews.

JaR CD "Scene 29" is outstanding, and important music. I consider Jay Graydon's "Airplay for the Planet" to be one of my essential desert island CD's. As such, any release by Jay, is considered essential to my music collection. Jay latest doesn't disappoint - it's brilliant. Certain tracks like "Glen's Hair", "GPS", and "The Cabo Cad" are just remarkable ! The whole record is clearly giving Steely Dan - a run for their money. Incredible Musicanship, production, mastering, and writing. You can't expect nothing less than perfection from these guys: Graydon and Goodrum - We can only hope that they continue to release more and more records, as no one else is playing and releasing music this great currently. Thanks! Owen - http:owenyost.com - New York

JaR Scene 29
author: CR
Just like fine wine, Graydon and Goodrum are getting better with age!!!

slickthelick
Yeah, cool cats and old heros never die! This is as good as it gets! Next level would be to have some of their old musician friends (Jerry Hey to mention one) sitting in. Let's see that happen for JaR 2:)

joelsilfver
great! I must order this CD immediately

jamiehosmer
These guys are brilliant.

rvfg
Sensational!

lukePaulNorman
cool music,killer solos,great vibe.High quality music!!!!

klippermannen
its like stily dan and "sambainrio" with pop and airplay!! love the solo in track 7

watchingmansc
I agree with "stefolof" Well said, my friend.

larascha
Greeeaaaate

kimikimi003
unbelievable! Excellent.! Jay! you are the geniuses really,the most wonderful artist among the world's No.1!

stefolof
First class songwriting! And noone solos like The Rake! Fantastic album!

author: Gidi
this is a great album of Mr. Graydon i loved it all songs are played well and sounds fantastic!! Fantastic!!

author: Kenny K.
Since I heard the new album information, I really waited to issue this. I like his sound and creates for a long time, and this album gave me a fantastic tunes again. I hope his continuous activity, and some "LIVE" performance, too.

author: Erik
I bought this album unheard. Being an old Graydon-fan I felt it was no risk, it's got to be good..... After listening to it a couple of times I can only say that it is another masterpiece in my CD-collection!!!

Scene 29
author: Joe Nesser
Just got around to writing this review, but Jay has played his arse off on this one. The solos are great, the lyrics are catchy. The only thing I would add for the next album is a real drummer and bassist, along with a set of saxes, alto, tenor, and bari, ala Tom Scott to give it more of a jazzy feel. Let the solos rest with Jay and Randy, but use the horns to be an integral extension of the vocals. And, also have Champlin do a song or two. Maybe a double CD??? I'd pay the $40 to have it.

Fabulous
author: Carl Gulbranson
Great album from great musicians. This album gets better and better each time i play it. Thanks guys!

For a friend
author: Matte A Sweden
Bought this CD for a friend and he is very very satisfied with the masterpiece.

It does not betray!
author: Yasushi Otsuka
I was longing for the release of this album. This is a good album as expected. No, it is wonderful more than it expected. The work of the next time of this unit is already long in coming.

Fantastic!
author: David L.
This album is a melodic masterpiece with songs across the board - a mixture of Pop, R&B, AC, AOR and Jazz. Two years of hard work, writing and recording new material, has resulted in an incredible set of songs with amazing melodies and outstanding playing and singing by these seasoned musicians and accomplished songwriters. Fans of The Dan should buy Scene 29, that's what music is all about ! As usual Jay Graydon plays his guitar with elegant and intelligent accuracy and Randy Goodrum, the piano virtuoso. Please open your ears and BUY THIS GEM !!! NOW !!!

Christmas, Easter and Birthday at a time
author: Chris from Germany
These little tunes really put tears of joy to my eyes! A perfect mix of jazzy Steely Dan and souly "Turn your love around". This truly is a melodic masterpiece. I wish you a whole lot of airplay, guys! Don't let us wait another 15 years please! Kind regards from Germany

GREAT
author: Jens Wöhrmann
what can you say about this masterpiece? it's a highlight in my cd collection - G R E A T

JaR drives me crazy!!!:o)
author: Lorenzo, Italy
Dear Dear Jay,
my friend, I have just received the JaR cd and it really drives me crazy!!! I have been listening on and on to it in the last 48 hours and I have no words to express my gratitude for such a masterpiece!!! I had a thrill comparable to the one I had when I first heard Airplay or Steve Kipner...You and Randy are two geniuses and you were so corageous in doing an album like Scene 29 nowadays. No weak tunes, everything is at top level. Your songwriting is outstanding, always so full of personality and top class! And the lyrics are really brilliant..."he's richer than Foz" is fantastic!!!! :o) It's not easy to choose my favourite tunes, everything is so top level, and I know I will wear out my cd, that's why I bought 2 copies :o) and I'll buy the japanese edition as soon as it comes out.

Sensational!!!
author: Veronica
What a pleasure it's been to find such great new music as I've been finding this year! The music industry may be ignoring the need for mature, high quality, classy, intelligent, fun and tasty music, but these guys haven't been. Outstanding! I love this Cd enough to buy a few more for gifts! Way to go, Jay and Randy!

New JaR album...love it!
author: Andr - Montreal, Canada
Hey Jay,
Great job with the new JaR album!! You guys are truly geniuses (just to state the obvious) and this confirms it! I love the production quality and vocal harmonies. Randy's voice and lyrics are silky smooth. Your guitar noodling is, well, out of this world! You always seem to find the right notes and pitch - love it! "Cure Kit" is an INSTANT classic - this song just blew my mind when I first heard it! Great intro song - I was jumping up and down. "Call Donovan", "Scene 29", and "Glen's Hair" are also favourites of mine. I hope that you guys release another JaR album. Just a couple of requests... I was sort of hoping for more ballads as both Randy and yourself are well-known for some great ones (ex: Who's Holding Donna Now, Coming Home, After the Love Is Gone, Roxane, Saving It Up,...I could go on). I am hoping that you will throw a couple more ballads on your next JaR release for me. As well, do you foresee any future collaborations with David Foster? I would love to see another "Foster-Goodrum-Graydon" penned song on the next JaR release :) :) :)

Anyway, take care (and God bless you guys - the torchbearers of the smooth Westcoast sound!)

GREAT new music from Jay and Randy
author: Massimo Magni
I'm totally knocked out by this record. What a release! I listened to it zillion of times, and I'm playing it for all the people I know, and they are VERY impressed. I wish JaR great success with this record. You deserve to sell millions and play stadiums and arenas. It is sad that most of the people out there buys crap, while there is around music on this level of sophistication, talent and experience. BUY THIS CD NOW !!!!!

Fantastic West Coast CD!
author: Gary A. Scharg
These guys are first class musicians, and Jay's engineering skill never ceases to amaze me. Great to hear Jay's vocals which have been in such short supply since Airplay days. His guitar style is so unique also, sparse but elegant and lush. Randy's vocals are also a sound for sore ears, been grooving on his vocals and music since the early Dave Grusin days and his prolific solo career in Japan. Great songwriting by these guys, wonderfully performed and good continuity of material. Highest marks for production values, no Low-Fi here! Buy this CD!

A really, really, really good album!!
author: Danne
In fact, it's the best album in a very long time. These two gentlemen really know how play... Just Great music!! BUY!!!

Ken Volpe of Guitar Jam Daily "I've been looking forward to this CD for a long time. It's the latest offering from JaR, which is Jay Graydon and Randy Goodrum."

Perfection & Grace
author: barney
What a great album, well, what would one expect from 'Jay Graydon' & 'Randy Goodrum'! This ones got 'Steely Dan' running through its blood, & it works! If you've ever heard 'Randy Goodrum's' solo album 'Fools Paradise' (produced by 'Elliot Scheiner' of 'Steely Dan'/'Eagles' fame) then you know exactly what to expect. Great chord progressions, wonderful melodies, unbelievable musicianship. As for 'Jay Graydon', where do i begin? His peerless song writing, 'Turn Your Love Around' 'George Benson', 'After The Love Has Gone', 'Earth Wind And Fire', 'Mornin', 'Al Jarreau', etc. Then his Grammy winning production work with 'Manhattan Transfer', 'Dionne Warwick', 'Air Supply', to name but just a few! His Guitar playing ain't bad either, check out his solos on 'Steely Dan's' 'Peg' & 'Steve Kipner's' 'The Ending', definitive Graydon! 'Goodrum' & 'Graydon' make stunning music together, 'Monkey House' & 'JAR' are the only bands to do the 'Dan' with conviction, perfection & Grace.

Is it Christmas already!
author: Ulf Stensland
First Steve, then Bill and now this! I wonder what's next! This is what it is really all about; great songs with great groove! Can't wait to put the CD in my car! The torch is in good hands!

Nice
author: Mats Arvidzon
Very good music again from Jay

Yippi
author: Sverre Torjuul
Yes! Been waiting many years for this! Jay Graydon All Star at Rockefeller was a classic! Another CD going to Norway!

WOW!!!!!
author: Petter Solholm
I have been waiting for something like this for many years now!!! Thank you tank you tank you, Jay and Randy for doing this album and for giving it out!! Im looking forward to getting the cd in the mail!! The soundclips is just great!!! Many greetings from Norway! Petter Solholm