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With the album “Bridge” Gabe Katona shows his contemporary jazz keyboard artistry while keeping the dynamics from his R&B and rock background. His contemporary jazz compositions are spirited and multi-faceted, yet romantic. Gabe’s songs are crafted through his soulful approach to melody and rhythm. His piano sounds are full, sweet and crisp with intriguing melodies. Gabe’s compositions are highlighted with his touch on the Hammond B3 organ, the Wurlitzer and Rhodes electric pianos, clavinet and the saxophone. Gabe rounds out his music with use of unique orchestration and rhythms adding to the intrigue of his compositions.

Gabe’s solo adventure, “Bridge”, melds together his experiences as a songwriter, composer, session musician, producer and as a member of legendary music groups. He toured and recorded his keyboard work on four of Rick Springfield’s platinum albums and the gold single, “Jessie’s Girl”. As a member of Rare Earth, he co-wrote two of their Billboard charting songs, recorded and toured. He was regularly called to play keys in LA music sessions, including for artists such as Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, The Temptations, Jackson 5 and Richie Furay and for legendary artists Redbone, Player, Climax Blues Band and Motown artists. That’s Gabe driving the groove with his clavinet on the Jacksons’ “Dancing Machine”. Gabe played keyboards and saxophone for three years with Starship as they performed across the U.S, Canada and Japan. He performed on some of Starship’s recordings from live concerts and appeared in some of the videos. Gabe’s diverse career crosses a variety of genres in his work with many other artists, film and television projects. As a solo artist, Gabe was inspired to blend his jazz, R&B and rock experiences and influences to create his melodic and soulful contemporary jazz album “Bridge”.  Gabe Katona’s “Bridge” takes you on a journey that you will want to experience over and over again!

Gabe Katona’s “Bridge” Sets a New Bar for Feel-Good Music

If there were ever an album that fit the definition of “feel good” music, this would be it. Gabe Katona’s newest release, Bridge, is a smooth jazz excursion that will exude positive emotions and hopeful musings for the listener. A first listening will demonstrate excellent musicianship, delightful arrangements, and skillful engineering that stands up to the best in audio craftsmanship.

In today’s musical world of composers holding down one note on a synth to create a groove, you will highly appreciate Gabe’s terrific chops on grand piano, Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos, clavinet, Hammond B3 organ, synthesizers, saxophone, and drum and percussion instruments. The Hammond B3 sound, in particular, jumps out of the track as if you were in the studio control room listening to a take.

No doubt everyone has different tastes and prefers one song over another. For me, the title cut, Bridge, is a winner, but I happen to like the opening cut, Sunjammers, the most. It’s irrestible, and never tires after multiple, consecutive listenings. Other musicians on the album include, Jamie Rogan on drums on Hot or Mild, Jimmy Bowland on flute, soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone sax on Hot or Mild, and Chris Cottros on guitars on Once Upon a Dream and Playtime.

You don’t have to specialize in Country Music to live and work in Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville and surrounding areas have evolved into a more diverse music scene. Katona, in addition to recording and producing his own original music, produces and records other up-and-coming artists in the area.

If you pay attention, you will sense musical influences from jazz, rock, R&B, blues, and funk. Having played with major acts such as Rick Springfield, Jackson 5, and The Temptations, Gabe also played keyboards and sax during a three-year musical journey with Jefferson Starship, on tour and in the studio.

I kept looking for something to criticize on this album, but I gave up after about three weeks. In other words, it’s a great album that is certain to provide hours of satisfying listening.

-Robert Safir