Paul Hardcastle: The Snoozejazzmaster

You’d slide out of your chair too. From boredom.

Jazz: noun, often attributive \’jaz\ a type of American music with lively rhythms and melodies that are often made up by musicians as they play

Jazz. Say the word. J-A-Z-Z. Paul Hardcastle calls his side project “The Jazzmasters.” If he means he plays instrumentals, it is. If he means truly understanding the idiom, it’s not.

A lot of jazz albums end up in my mailbox.  A few are good.   Some are terrible.  There are some rare gems, but most are competently mediocre.

The Jazzmasters VII is total shit.   It is dull beyond belief.   It is tedium, tiresome and the embodiment of the worst of snooze jazz.   It didn’t even hold my interest long enough to get me to hate it.

The not-so Secret Sauce of Hardcastle’s success is his music is designed, calculated, formulated and manufactured so as not to deviate from the template. There is no discernible difference between a Jazzmasters release and a Hardcastle solo joint. They are interchangeable and the sound faithfully follows Hardcastle’s freeze-dried jazz/chill formula. This sort of Tinker Toy, generic pap is popular in the same way McDonald’s french fries are popular: all the consumer must do is consume. Whether it provides any nutritional value is purely secondary.

The titles are generic. “Unlimited Love,” “Soft Rain” and “Starlight Express” sound like names for bottles of perfume. Songs start, stop tinkle quietly and fade away. There isn’t a single hook or a spontaneous moment. There are no twists, no turns, no diversion, no digression, and no deviation, only cold efficiency.

To be a jazz master shouldn’t you actually play jazz?

If you’re a fan of this sort of thing and dig Hardcastle’s chilled out drizzle and you’ve consumed his past product here’s some more of the same old same old. At this point in his career, Hardcastle can be described as one football coach described the other team: He is who we thought he was. Only in the most liberal sense of the word can the sound recordings of Hardcastle be even remotely considered to be any sort of “jazz.”

It is false advertising to proclaim there are any masters of jazz on The Jazzmasters. Hardcastle certainly isn’t interested in lively rhythms and melodies that are often made up by musicians as they play. This is background music. It’s too mechanical, too bloodless  and too flat-out lazy to be anything more than empty sound.

Duke was a jazz master. Miles was a jazz master. Thelonious was a jazz master. Paul Hardcastle is about as much a jazz master as a Kardashian sister.    Before he dubs himself a “jazzmaster” he should learn how to play some first.

Track Listing: Unlimited Love; Rhythm of Life; Free to Fly; Starlight Express; Soft Rain; Domino Effect; Pulse of the Universe; Unlimited Love (the Strings), Come On; Breathe; Echoes of Eternity; Rhythm of Life (Chill Reprise)

Personnel: Paul Hardcastle: unspecified instruments; Rock Hendricks: saxophone; Paul Hardcastle,Jr. : saxophone idea (1); Maxine Hardcastle: backing vocals (2); Cindy Bradley: trumpet (1); Margo Ledue: backing vocals (3)

Record Label: Trippin n Rhythm Records

A different version of this review originally published at All About Jazz.


33 thoughts on “Paul Hardcastle: The Snoozejazzmaster

  1. Oh here you go again
    I remember your last Hardcastle review
    It’s just the same old dross from you Jeff
    Get a life and don’t bother doing a so called reviews
    Just a serious question
    Why do bother ?
    If you hate something so much
    Be an adult and ignore it ?
    Your a bit of a Howard Stern ha ha
    Also Hardcastle must laugh his head off at people like you who are obviously Bitter at his success
    But them again not many people know who the hell you are Lmao


  2. Who cares if it’s Jazz or Chill or Smooth Jazz or whatever
    A hell of a lot of people like what this cat does Man you make yourself look a fool bro
    We don’t care what you or you dad listen to
    You need to get yourself a proper job coz u damn is Funky at trying to
    Make a name for yourself by talking
    I doubt you will ever be known as a decent reviewer coz u just don’t have anything good about the way you write (if that’s what you call it)
    Man U have one hell of a chip on your shoulder grow up bro


  3. I just saw this review regarding the release on the Trippin n Rhythm record label of the Jazz Masters what come up on my Google alert, I don’t know who Jeff Wimbush is but it looks like someone who’s looking for some attention, You obviously don’t like the Jazz Masters or Paul Hardcastle but it seems like you go out of your way to listen to the music then criticise it, if you don’t like it don’t listen to it, it’s as simple as that.. Don’t know who you are but you need to get a life, you are probably one of these strange guys who sits at home behind the computer writing crap about people, your so called review is pathetic, Man the labels got to love the free advertising of the front cover on this website, the cover looks awesome..


  4. Geesh Jeff, the haters do come out in droves when you write something nasty about a boring release of boring music. I can only thank you for saving me the time to check it out myself, but then again I always thank you for pointing me in good direction!


    • I don’t care about the Haters for Hardcastle, Valentine. The last time they pulled this at least someone claiming to be Paul Hardcastle joined in on the fun. Maybe he’s too busy coming up with new titles for the same old stuff? They need to spend a little more time listening to real musicians whom actually do more than crank out the same crap over and over again.

      Their hate only pumps up the hits to my website, so why should I care?



      • What’s he famous for Valentine ? being a complete racist Johnson
        He’s as famous as the rundown shack he crawls out of now and again
        shame he’s not in the middle of Oklahoma and would be swept away for good by a Hurricane
        Then Wind bush would be appropriate in my view


  5. Mr Valentine,, Yes the haters ”Jeff Wimbush”,, Hardcastle releases an new project and the haters come out like Wimbush,, seriously it’s so obvious that Wimbush does not like Hardcastle so how do you expect to get a genuine and honest review from him ? It’s not going to happen,, Now I went and took a look at the billboard chart, and it so happens that the album went #1 on the album contemporary chart, but what was more impressive and am sure Mr Wimbush doesn’t like this, the album went #1 on the billboard ”JAZZ” album chart, Yes jazz album chart.. I’m sure that’s upsetting a few jazz folks… So, how do you know if it’s boring ? You don’t,, because you need someone like Wimbush to tell you what to listen to,, maybe next week Wimbush will tell you that there is a new Britney Spears album out and it’s fantastic and you will go and buy it , Lol


  6. Jeff, You say his Music is the same and that’s what his fans wan’t so where is the problem ? he makes music for his fans and not you ?
    I happen to like his style, not everyone needs self indulgent monotony of some of the straight ahead guys
    or should we all listen to what you like, and Honestly who cares about how you got into music or the fact you like duke or Dizzy or Miles, Yes they are great but NOT everyones taste
    I notice your last 3 reviews on Hardcastle’s music have ALL BEEN THE SAME ! so is that not a bit hypocritical ?

    I’m sure Mr H will need to see a doctor for fear that a few of your followers won’t buy his album. Get a life and like the fellow Marine said your a RACIST pure and simple
    every Post you make has racial overtones !
    Oh hey lastly what the hell are you talking about “Award winner” what the hell have you won
    thats not worthless or worth talking about lol why not say what the award is, or are you embarrassed ?

    I think your at least 20 years too late to have any influence on anyones career
    Keep up the good work as you do make me laugh a lot, you would be better writing comedy
    mmm or maybe nor



  7. I usually like your blogs but have to agree with some of the points from the above people
    also I have just read your last reviews on this guy. You have just rehashed your last 2 reviews saying almost the same thing over and over, surely you must be clever enough to know by now that you are not going to like his Music period. but come on your just trying to provoke a reaction, I could do that by wearing a short skirt. I don’t think anyone who has an ounce of sense can’t see past your plan and as you say in your first review and I quote below your exact words

    I really could not care what you think ‘reduces my credentials as a good reviewer.” Apparently, I’m good enough to provoke a response from pissed-off Hardcastle fans.

    If that’s your main objective then keep it up as I’m sure he won’t stop making records I’m looking forward to Hardcastle 10 even 20 hopefully

    FYI I’m a 25 year old AC woman and I don’t like Miles Davis, now are you gonna tell me I should because of my Origin of birth.
    If the above post is true and this CD did in fact obtain the top position on Billboards JAZZ chart then who bought it the Country Music fans ? The POP fans ? Hip Hop fans ? you see where I’m coming from here
    Mr Windbush. no of course you don’t as your too wrapped up in your own tiny little egotistic world I guess
    but please like the person asked in a previous comment do let us know what Award ! you have won
    I’m sure it will be impressive, I now read your boss wouldn’t let you publish your first review in the tiny magazine you write for, that must have been embarrassing for you. oh dear it’s all falling into place now
    bitter and twisted springs to mind

    I’m sure there will be another Album from Paul soon so don’t worry you can get your next fix real soon



    • If you’re looking forward to Paul Hardcastle 10 or Paul Harcastle 20 or 30 or 40, you’ll be happy to know no matter how long you wait and how many of these freeze-dried puddin’ pops he cranks out, each and every one will be EXACTLY THE SAME. Just as there’s no difference between the first McDonald’s french fry and the 15th, there’s no difference between Hardcastle albums.

      And telling me what’s on the top of Billboard’s Jazz charts means diddly to me, Donna. Michael Buble rides high on Billboard’s Jazz charts too and if that’s your idea of what jazz is, that’s all on you.

      You don’t like Miles Davis and I don’t like Paul Hardcastle. So and what? Is that supposed to mean something to me?

      By the way, what is it about you Hardcastle fans that you don’t use punctuation? Work in a period or comma every now and then… 🙄


  8. I used to be facebook friends back in 2010 with You, and had to unfriend you because of the rantings of a madman shit you always came out with, see you still haven’t changed !
    listening to your MF Bullshit is like having syrup thrown down my neck, and don’t give me the who the hell are you BS, man you must have pissed off most of Ohio with your so called Blogging it’s a wonder no one has slapped you down big boy. once a jerk always a jerk Nuff said. Domino theory shit My Ass


    • Unfriended, yet here you are four years later to read more of my “rantings of a madman shit.” What does that make you? A glutton for punishment?

      Oh yeah, I’ve changed. You on the other hand came wandering back like a dog to his vomit looking for a tidbit. However, it does give me a small degree of amusement to know even now the Haters I’ve forgotten about like waste product down the toilet are still thinking about me.

      I’m glad to give your boring little life some meaning. Now go away for another four years and give yourself a Drano enema or something, okay?

      Glad you liked the Paul Hardcastle review. Thanks for Reading and pushing up the hits to the site. Love your lack of literacy (and punctuation).

      Feel free to share this with all your friends. Once you make a few. 😀


  9. it’s your right to criticise whatever you wan’t but I will be interested to see your reaction next month when
    Pauls Dance album is released, I much prefer his older dance stuff. I don’t like Jazz and wish he would go back to his old style. I’m not going to get involved in an is it Jazz or not debate as I couldn’t care less
    But I do agree with a few comments above in all honesty it does seem you are going out of your way to listen to something that you know you hate, and I would say that’s a waste of your time and our really
    I don’t see how you can even begin to give something a fair review if you know you already hate it
    and as you admit yourself He’s not going to change as he listens to his fans and not reviews.

    Can I suggest you stick to reviewing music that you don’t hate in the first place. is that an unfair comment ?

    I guess you can probably gather I am a Hardcastle fan
    Respectfully Alan Brookes


    • I never would have guessed. Don’t worry about my reaction to Paul Hardcastle’s dance album. I will have no reaction next month when Paul Hardcastle’s dance album is released because I have no intention of ever listening to a Paul Hardcastle album of any kind ever again. If a copy should land in my mailbox by mistake it will come in the front door and go out the back door with the rest of the garbage.

      You don’t like jazz? You have something in common with Hardcastle. He doesn’t like jazz either. If he did he’d play some every now and then.

      Trust me Mr. Brookes, I would love not to waste a minute of time listening to this limp shit your hero poops out. It’s definitely a waste of MY time.

      You can suggest I stick to reviewing music I don’t hate, but I’m going to ignore your suggestion as you apparently do not understand the review process. I’ve never promised to give any CD a “fair” review. All I can promise is it will be an HONEST review and that isn’t the same thing. Any way I don’t hate everything Hardcastle does. I gave his last solo CD a passing evaluation. But I don’t care if I ever hear it again.

      Or any other Hardcastle song that isn’t “19” or “Rainforest.” 🙄


  10. Oh Jeff Stop it, You will keep posting dross about how you hate Hardcastle YOU KNOW YOU WILL and I will tell you why because it’s your only chance of getting noticed, How sad is that !
    If you read any Hardcastle interview that he’s ever done with a decent writer he has ALWAYS maintained he’s not Jazz and doesn’t wish to be !!!!!!!!!!!
    it was Just a title for an Album that people seemed to like, So now how can you keep going on about your He’s not Jazz shit, He’s admitted that HIMSELF !!!!! Jesus are you all there “HELLO ”
    Ok you claim it’s An Honest review but it’s “YOU” yes “YOU” who’s saying it’s not Jazz, well guess what He agrees with you, so what’s your Problem. I remember you had a problem with the track With Marvin Gaye,well fyi Marvin’s Estate actually granted permission to him to use his voice as they thought it was Great, and he didn’t just use it without permission which a lot of F heads have done,
    I await the BIG BOY I don’t give a F–k stuff you always use in your replies if we don’t agree with you

    I await the tirade of your rantings !
    using shock tactics to get a response is not the sign of a competent writer

    Once again Respectfully Alan Brookes


    • I don’t have any response to your little temper tantrum/unhinged raving and drooling, Alan except for this: How is it you can come here talkin’ all this mad shit and then sign off with “Respectfully” when there isn’t a bit of respect in what you just scribbled?

      Maybe you should consider the latent hypocrisy in that. Though I know you won’t.


  11. Sorry Jeff
    Just one last point Below is your quote EXACTLY

    “You don’t like jazz? You have something in common with Hardcastle. He doesn’t like jazz either. If he did he’d play some every now and then”.

    Dohhhhh You have said he doesn’t like Jazz YOURSELF !!!!! So where is all this It’s not Jazz Bullshit coming from, I do like to think of myself as understanding most basic things but I can’t for the life of me
    Understand your points here,

    Ok on a final note as I have taken up too much space on your page here

    You hate what he does which is a fair point, yes I’m saying you can express your views how you wish after all some people hated Michael Jackson,
    Janis Joplin, The Beatles, MILES DAVIS, etc etc
    but toy really need to cut out the” it’s not Jazz Bullshit” as it has NO Relevance whatsoever to His music
    or are you going to blame HIM because it was top of the Billboard JAZZ CHART
    why not vent your anger at Billboard, yea go on Jeff. make a name for yourself and criticise them
    I would bet you don’t have the guts to do that

    Respectfully Alan Brookes


  12. Ohhh that’s funny, Mr Winderbush you should write to Billboard and express your anger at the right people. but don’t worry you would never get employed by a Decent magazine so you will burn no bridges

    I’m sorry to say I agree with most people on here. you do seem like a little put out by Mr Hardcastle’s success and Yes myself and my guy happen to like his Chill out out vibe puts us in a sexy mood know what I mean ? but I can’t imagine myself feeling like that to Miles I’m afraid, but hey Miles is still good for the right occasion
    Yes we have all his albums, if they all sound similar who cares when your getting it on baby Know what I’m saying ()()()()()()(
    Miss S Lamour


    • If Paul Hardcastle’s music for insomniacs is your soundtrack for seduction, Sonia, that’s fine by me. Hope your partner doesn’t fall dead asleep in mid-stroke out of boredom and squish you.

      Everything else? Thanks for sharing. :/


  13. See below Jeff Windbushe’s OWN words WORD FOR WORD

    I will have no reaction next month when Paul Hardcastle’s dance album is released because I have no intention of ever listening to a Paul Hardcastle album of any kind ever again.

    Great news Jeff, Hope you can stick to your so called principals

    I guess until you need a bit more hype or publicity


  14. WINBUSH my error I’m sorry, but just wondering if you will indeed stick to what you have said above ? OK I have said it nicely so no need for any insults
    it’s a real simple question.


  15. What a load of BS this page is . who Gives a F–k if the album is good bad or indifferent
    I LIKE it and THATS ALL THAT MATTERS so I don’t care what anyone else thinks,
    geeeeze what a complete wast of time get a life all of you.

    MUSIC IS SUBJECTIVE. so Mr Winbush stop preaching as though your the MF Messiah !
    and also Caine is a good man so leave him alone


    • Ronnie, I don’t care what you like or dislike. Really and truly I don’t.

      So why does it matter so much to you that I don’t like Paul Hardcastle?

      No preaching here. Only an opinion. Nobody said you have to agree with it or like it. But you liking Hardcastle’s music is no reason for me to.


  16. Mmmmmm See the New Hardcastle Album is a massive success Mr Jeff ha-ha
    Number 5 on Billboards JAZZ chart yes JAZZ CHART and it’s a Dance album !!!!!
    I would love to see your face screwed up in massive jealousy ha-ha

    Now don’t forget the above statement, just in case you forgot
    (Your own Words)
    “I have no intention of ever listening to a Hardcastle record again” hilarious

    Keep Calm “Jeffrey” don’t want you having a panic attack again do we


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