So, You Like it Smooth and Easy?

Come Groove With Me (NBP Records)
Wesley Thomas

By David Lilly

Does the name Kerry Coleman ring a bell with you? Okay, maybe I should ask this...does it smack any percussion in your memory? Regardless, This easy-listening type of Jazz disc includes one Kerry Coleman, from Louisville, playing bongos and other percussion on several cuts. I'm not absolutely certain, but I'm pretty sure this music is what is referred to as Sunday morning or smooth jazz. In some circles it also has a reputation as the music you hear in the grocery store while you're examining which produce items meet your approval for home consumption.

The star of this CD, Wes Thomas, has clearly been playing for a long time ... or maybe he's a prodigy that picked up a guitar in his late teens and is already, in his 20's, good enough at this genre to compete with the various other artists found in the smooth-jazz bins. He might well be a staple of smooth-jazz radio. Can you be a popular artist in jazz radio even if you resemble an ethnic version of Brian Warner without the makeup? If you find out, let me know. Whatever Thomas's status in the music world, this album employs the aforementioned Louisvillian, Coleman, as well as one C.J. Fletcher, a Louisville-based artist who did -- you already knew? -- the artwork on the folder that comes with this disc. All the songs were written by Mr. Thomas except for Curtis Mayfield's "Pusherman" and Stevie Wonder's "Knocks Me Off My Feet." If you are a smooth/easy-listening jazz fan, you'll most likely want to add this CD to your collection.

Smooth jazz fans can offer feedback or start a dialogue with Mr. Wes Thomas by sending email to

and fans of Louisville art can check up on C. J. Fletcher at