Eric Marienthal’s new Peak Records release, Just Around the Corner, opens strong with the composition, “Blue Water,” and never looks back! Immediately you recognize Marienthal’s distinctive voice, honed over the past 20 years; in fact, I can’t recall his sax sounding any stronger than on this, his eleventh solo release. Backed by a cadre of the usual smooth jazz suspects – Jeff Lorber, Ray Parker Jr, and Brian Culberson, just to name a few – Marienthal delivers his strongest recording since 1981′s Oasis. Two tracks which really stood out for me are; “Times Square” with a great saxophone chorus, and “Flower Child” which breaks into a really funky Motown feel halfway through the track, reminding me of something you’d hear in a Temptations song. It’s great to see an artist like Marienthal, who’s involved in so many different projects and bands, to deliver such a distinctively individual recording.