When a smooth jazz version of Purple Rain arrived in my inbox I knew it would be either a brilliant cover of Prince’s iconic track or a cheesy damp squib. Instrumental covers of classic tracks are either one or the other – there is no middle ground. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed.
At the opening strum of a guitar, closely followed by a single pluck on a bass by way of punctuation, I thought ‘phew’ – Prince won’t be turning in his grave at this one.
After a few bars a short crescendo of a shimmering cymbal tells us the track proper is about to kick off, saxophone player Luis Alas blows in the only way he knows how – and the magic of this wonderful track explodes into colour.
The melody is predictable of course, the embellishments from all the musicians outstanding, and the track a delight as it grows and develops until the powerful final chord is stuck. The silence is deafening, and anyone will want to hit the replay button to enjoy the experience again and again.
You will find yourself singing along – it’s infectious.
Having played the track three times in a row I contacted Luis. I knew we had to speak. I wanted to find out more about this musician, his musical journey, and what he was up to next.
I hope you enjoy listening to our chat as much as I enjoyed speaking with this energetic performer, musician, and composer.