Atlantic Groove Society is a forefronted initiative and project by L.A. trumpeter Alexander Hartgers and Dutch keyboardist Raymond Kaitjily who have been musician colleagues and friends for more than 20+ years. Both tapping into their musician & friend connections by bringing the Atlantic Groove Society come alive by combining their strength of musicianship through Alex's & Ray's soulful compositions.
The band/project name "Atlantic Groove Society" is based on the Atlantic (ocean) which divides the continents between Alex (USA) & Ray (Netherlands) and the compositions are based on Groove combined with the use of their musician & friend connections which stands for Society.
Let's be friends
Award winning Jazz author Debbie Burke
Atlantic Groove Society’s “Past and Present” Glimmers and Shimmers.
The gratification of a hook-drenched melody will never leave you high and dry.
That is what you’ll find in Atlantic Groove Society’s newest venture (Feb. 2022), “Past and Present.”
The album creates a warm, expansive feeling in ten memorable tracks. While the horn (from leader Alexander Hartgers) soars and sings, guitar, drums, keys, bass and vocals do their respective parts with mesmerizing technique and a huge dollop of bite (“Funk That” which might have the brightest and tightest hook of the bunch).
The smooth paean to love, “Aimee Meets Silvana” contrasts with the high-energy sway of “Happiness is Now” and there’s even a Europa-type anthem coming atcha in the beautiful “Close to Me.”
The LA-based Hartgers plays trumpet, flugelhorn and keyboards, and he is also the composer/arranger, programmer and sound engineer in the first foray by this group of musicians. He is joined in this project by his friend and musical colleague of over 20 years, Dutch keyboardist Raymond Kaitjily.
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A music mix of exciting Funky Smooth Jazz and captivating Chillout grooves in which refined trumpet whispers comfortingly and makes you yearn for sultry summer nights.
At another time, it pierces your soul without wanting to injure you.
Atlantic Groove Society gently wraps a warm veil around you, silky soft, translucent, but oh so strong.
Smooth Jazz Therapy
Trumpeter Alexander Hartgers and keyboard player Raymond Kaitjily aka Atlantic Groove Society have just released the album ‘Past & Present’ which with nine original compositions and one choice cover is a cool mixture of chilled out lounge music and smooth jazz that is worthy of some attention!
Take for example the sublime ‘Cool Cats’ that builds over time to sensational effect.
Another track that has this dynamic duo front back and center is the decidedly moody ‘Close To Me’.
Elsewhere and evocative in the extreme ‘Night Drive’, with Alex in fine form on muted trumpet, is a sumptuous slice of west coast smooth jazz.
And talking of standouts the deliciously chilled ‘G-Force’ finds Alex and Ray at their stunningly collective best. It is right up there with the best that ‘Past & Present’ has to offer.
Yet all things considered the Smooth Jazz Therapy top track is the vibrant ‘Happy Go Lucky’ which comes complete with a catchy hook that might well get in your head and not go away.
Roel's Music World
What does “Past & Present” sounds like?
The album is a tasteful collection of medium and down tempo tracks, ranging from Jazz-Fusion, to Funk, R&B and a few “smooth” ballads.
When listening to “Past & Present” words that popped-up first were “easy going”. That was to be expected, Alexander, Raymond Kaitjily and their “society” are all highly skilled and experienced musicians.
The album is well played and recorded, has a “classic” 80s/90s sound and fits perfectly well on the shelf with other Jazz-rock/Jazz-Fusion, R&B and “Smooth” releases.
The album starts with a track with a well chosen title "Happy Go Lucky" … it truly has a happy, easy going vibe to it. One can imagine chilling on a cruise ship at the Atlantic ocean…
"Sahara Dream" This is one of the “smooth” tracks on the album. In sound and style it reminded me a bit of the music by “Sade”.
When listening to the groove – and with a little imagination – you could picture yourself riding a Camel calmly through the Sahara towards a lush oasis.
"G-Force" This track is my favorite track from this album. It has a R&B-like “feel” to it.
The combination of the more transparent and “edgy” sound of Alexander’s muted trumpet creates a nice contrast with the warm, “juicy” Fender Rhodes played by Raymond Kaitjily. Their interaction sounds like a “romantic conversation”
The album sounds “easy going”. But, perhaps that was their intention.
Nonetheless, it was enjoyable to listen to the album!