Special EFX’s “Deep as the Night” is smooth and classic jazz

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Jazz performers, Special EFX’s long history is evident on the song “Deep as the Night,” from theor new album of the same name.  With influences from other genres, the band crafts a smooth jazz soundscape that fans have come to love.

The long history of Special EFX

The song “Deep as the Night” by Special EFX is from the album of the same name, and represents the culmination of the group’s 35-year history. The band came to prominence with a series of jazz songs infused with Latin and African rhythms. The crossover sensibilities appealed to many. Using elements from other genres, Special EFX creates a smooth, sophisticated soundscape.

One of the strengths of smooth jazz is its malleability. It is pliable enough to sneak in and out of other musical genres, to take part in other art forms. Rhythm and blues works its way into the song, and audiences might not notice until the second listen. The influence of another genre does not prevent “Deep as the Night” from sounding like smooth jazz.

The sound of Special EFX’s “Deep as the Night”

For a number of music fans, skillful playing trumps anything else that a group might have going on. Special EFX plays skillfully. That skill is enhanced by rich tones via popping bass, rhythmic drums, and an almost understated guitar to craft what sounds like night. A saxophone weaves into the tapestry already crafted by the other instruments.

Often, songs, especially instrumentals, evoke color imagery. The song “Deep as the Night” creates the soundtrack for the urban night—the pitch-black night presiding oblivious over mile after mile of highway or city streets. The smooth jazz makes it sound as though the song and the night could go on forever. Just like newly asphalted streets make trips more pleasant, so does this song. Listeners can imagine spinning this tune while undertaking travel for a variety of reasons. Or for no reason whatsoever. The atmospheric nature of the piece is reason enough to like it.

More than halfway through, the musicians vamp a little, perhaps shaking things up to make sure audiences are paying attention. The bass thumps hard as if it were in an r&b dance tune. In fact, it might remind listeners of a certain age of the bass line from Jeffery Osbourne’s “Stay with Me Tonight.” At the same time, the guitar and saxophone take on a 1960’s soul sound for a few measures. Then, the song returns to the stylish jazz notes with which the journey was begun. The result is a cool version of smooth jazz that is unobtrusive and enjoyable.

With “Deep as the Night,” Special EFX presents a song that is artful without trying too hard and without putting listeners off.

 

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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