KJAZZ Radio UK welcomes the Soaring Saxman Dave Panico. With emotional power and musical passion to spare, multi-talented saxophonist, clarinet and flute player Dave Panico-renowned by his thousands of fans as “The Soaring Saxman”–breaks ground on a promising solo career, committing the contagious energy of his live performances to disc for the first time with a dynamic collection whose title says it all: Joy Rid ’N.
Unlike some artists who limit themselves to a singular style and set of influences, Dave cites a fascinating array of jazz legends and contemporary greats as having an impact on his own exciting mix of compelling melodies, strong rhythms and transcendent improvisations. His early exposure to jazz included Benny Goodman, Pete Fountain and the Big Band sounds of Tommy Dorsey-but his funky, grooving vibe owes just as much to longtime smooth jazz chart toppers like Warren Hill, Dave Koz and Richard Elliot. And like some of today’s other top contemporary jazz greats, including Kirk Whalum and Jonathan Butler, he’s not shy about the faith that grounds and inspires it all.
After picking up the sax for the first time in high school, Dave quickly expanded his repertoire and stylistic possibilities by learning clarinet and flute. His early professional endeavors while living in Chicago included performing with various bands at local venues and some early recording efforts in the studio. While living in this area, Dave was honored to secure a seat in the orchestra and studio band of Willow Creek Community Church-where he combined his love of ministry with that ongoing passion for making music. Willow Creek’s Music Director John Carlson says, “Dave was a talented, enthusiastic, and treasured soloist and member of the horn section team at Willow Creek. He always brought his very best as a musician to any situation, along with a true servant’s heart.”
Dave Panico’s music is rooted firmly in his faith, which allows fans to understand where the “joy” in Joy Rid’N comes from. But while the tracks on the album convey his spiritual side, this never gets in the way of the high energy vibe that characterizes his playing. Consequently, Joy Rid’N is a recording that should appeal to both sacred and secular audiences alike. ‘
Joy Rid’N’ opens up with ‘When 2 R 1’ which, as well as being a great example of picture perfect smooth jazz, is both mellow and uplifting at the same time. When Panico switches to flute for the distinctly tropical ‘Bumba Way’ the result is just as pleasing and the frothy ‘Samba’ has a title that describes it to perfection. It’s a tune that might just bring to mind ‘Dancing With The Stars’ while, in complete contrast, ‘Surrender’ is a slice of cool contemporary jazz that will sound good in a live setting or on radio. The tight and funky ‘Sweet Aroma’ features Steve Taylor’s edgy guitar. When Panico reaches for something totally different, his atmospheric flute on ‘Perseverance’ evokes images of Native America. Of the more overtly religious offerings, ‘Sending In Judah’ is both jazzy and up tempo while ‘Come All Who Are Thirsty’ glides on a pleasant mid tempo vibe and features inspiring vocals from Ah’Lee Robinson. ‘
Fly With Me’ flows like a cool stream and a Smooth Jazz Therapy favorite is the deliciously melodic title cut. With an aura to make it stand out from the crowd, the tune is a terrific example of Panico’s art yet even better is ‘Just Me And My Friend’. Attractively warm with a mid tempo groove, this is arguably the album’s best track.
A smooth jazz, funk sound flavored with spices of life. Dave Panico, with saxophone in hand, will move you with a delectable combination of vibrations, tight rhythms and irresistible melodies. Once the first note is played, there is no denying the energy that permeates the room. Taking your senses to a new realm, Dave’s distinctive music takes hold and truly reaches down to the very core of your soul. Taking that passion to the road, Dave has played in many venues, including various coffeehouses, churches, outdoor festivals and on television and radio.
Having received Instrumental Artist of the Year Award at the 2007 Kansas City Christian Music Awards, along with receiving a nomination for the acclaimed Instrumental Artist of the Year Award in 2008 from IndieHeaven-Momentum Awards, Nashville, TN, Dave Panico is making a “sound” for himself. CCM magazine recognized the talents of Dave Panico and asked for his expertise with a unique article having him iterate about particular brand instruments that allow his sound to come out “smoothly”.
From the beginning
Panico started out his performing and recording career in the Chicago area where he enjoyed a seat in the orchestra and studio band of Willow Creek Community Church. It was here that Dave took his love of ministering and combined it with his passion for music. John Carlson, Music Director at Willow Creek recalls that “Dave was a talented, enthusiastic, and treasured musician who was equally at home as a soloist or as member of Willow Creek’s horn section”. Currently residing in Kansas City, MO, with his wife and three children, Dave regularly enthralls audiences with his fine playing and along the way has picked up the Instrumental Artist of the Year Award at the 2007 Kansas City Christian Music Awards.