Bob Shimizu is on the strength, for reals. He is a fantastic guitarist that plays soothing guitar, but not smooth to the point of Comet cleanser suicide. I’ve liked his work in the past, and if you’re into that type of smooth jazz that is a bit energetic and enthusiast than most, you’ll really like the work he does here. I will admit: there are times when I hear the soprano sax work by Eric Marienthal in songs like “Easy To Be With” and wish he’d replace it with an alto or tenor and just let it rip. What saves these songs when the soprano sax gets a bit too “weedle-deedle-lee” is, of course, Shimizu. There’s a sense of preciseness or, maybe the better word is accuracy. He does all he can to make sure there is no room for error, but it doesn’t sound like a machine. It’s the kind of album you’d like to introduce to all new guitarists who want to know how to play with power without having to resort to super-loud volumes, a rack of pedals, and fretboard gymnastics. I mean don’t get me wrong, I love all of that too but this is a fine way to play mellow and smooth without giving it up for the sake of the almighty dollar. It still sounds like music Shimizu would play if it was just him and some friends in a garage or basement, and we’re the special guests who are allowed to hear them jam, in a home perhaps located somewhere near First & Monroe. In other words, it sounds like home, or perhaps a former source of where the spark of magic originated.