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Variety: N7 @ Playboy Festival 2011

“Musically and meteorologically, Sunday’s edition of the Playboy Jazz Festival was a significant upgrade over the previous day. The temperature rose to a comfortable level – not hot in the day, not freezing at night. The jazz buffs were happy, for there was a long stretch of music that fit this bulging category and the performances were on a generally high level. The blues buffs were happy, for they got two outstanding sets from some well-traveled masters and an astonishing prodigy. Naturally 7, a big crowd-pleaser here in 2010, managed to top their earlier triumph. Even the traditional smooth-jazz closer was happening.

Naturally 7 created a vocal alternative universe – a wall of voices, keyboards, wah-wah bass, hard-rock guitar, a jaw-dropping simulation of a drum kit – and to that, they added old-fashioned showbiz choreography and pizzazz. Sure, it’s an elaborate stunt, but these gifted impressionists could make some satisfying music out of Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall” and a string of Herbie Hancock milestones. Result: they walked off with the biggest ovation up to that point.”

Variety – June 13, 2011

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