- Bryon Harris
Coast 2 Coast Feat. The Fantastic Gems - 'Live Your Life'
The W.A M. Awards celebrate the year’s most outstanding independent artists from around the world in multiple genres and categories. "Best Song" and "Best Album" nominations were based on Artistry, Musicianship, Originality, Professionalism, Diversity, and Excellence. W.A.M. stands for "We Are the Music Makers.' Coast to Coast Feat. The Fantastic Gems song "Live Your Life'" was the 2020 W.A.M. Award Winner for Best Song in the R & B music category.
With world class musicianship the Fantastic Gems delivers on a Jazz and R&B thriller in “Live Your Life”. The bass and drums are in a deep, deep pocket. The drums have that “Quest Love” laid back quality, and combine with the tight bass to create a rock solid foundation. The piano is expertly performed. In the background for most of the song, it at times erupts in riffs that feel at home in a Herbie Hancock album. The horns are warm and give a nice stereo image to the whole piece. The lead vocal performance is a masterclass on how to perform a R&B vocal. Intimate while still maintaining impeccable technique it brings the song to new heights.
The quality of the musicianship can not be understated here. The band gels together perfectly, with each instrument talking together in a riveting conversation. The first verse is very groovy and does a solid job establishing the vibe that the rest of the song will hold. The chorus is punchy and the vocals carry it through with ease. Towards the end of the song there is a completely enthralling trumpet solo. Reminiscent of the master trumpetist Arturo Sandoval, the solo moves at a blistering pace and never lets the foot off the gas. Culminating in the last chorus the vocal harmonies and energy of the band provide the perfect ending to the composition.
With its message of hope and living life to the fullest the lyric writing does not disappoint. “Live your life, find yourself in the light, You can make your way sunny and bright” is just one example of some of the excellent penmanship sprinkled throughout the song. The attention to detail is quite astonishing. There is always something to grab the ear, and rest assured there is never a dull moment throughout the song. With endless charisma and a top notch performance from the players “Live Your Life” by the Fantastic Gems is an absolute treasure and a wonderful addition to the jazz repertoire.
Stream on Spotify
About Coast 2 Coast
Back in 1968, at Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey, a music group called The Fantastic Gems was born. After graduation, the talented musicians went off to college, the military, and new careers. Years later, two of the original members reformed in Washington D.C. as "Coast 2 Coast" and began recording and performing from 1986 to 1990. In 2016, The Fantastic Gems got back together to fulfill a promise they made to each other when they were young students in New Jersey. The result of their reunion was the release of The New Old Skool. The project took three years from conception to completion. The album is a tribute to their musical roots, and was made in recognition of the community who encouraged, supported and shaped their musical spirit. The New Old Skool features 11 great songs that fans of R & B,Gospel, Pop, and Jazz will love.
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