What People Are Saying
... about Party In The Back
"After a few years dazzling audiences at live performances such as Brian Culbertson’s Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, keyboardist Cecil Ramirez, a well-respected, well-regarded studio musician, musical director, and performer who released a debut release of his own back in 2009 called Talk to the Hand, is back with his sophomore release titled Party in the Back, and does that title say it all. Ramirez’s compositional and keys skills have long been noted by his peers and fans alike. Now, they are again on full display as he revs up the jam machine and kicks out the grooves again on this fine solo effort. There’s loads of funk and that bring-it-on feel that gets and keeps listeners riveted with their heads poppin’ and fingers snappin’.
Where do we start with this funky, energetic firestarter album? How about at the beginning? The lead track “On the One” just kicks the door open and gets it all started in a hurry truly sets this album off. If you’re still standing and not seated trying catch your breath, try “Talk to the Hand,” a funkster obviously looking back and offering the one single not included on his debut. Maybe it’s time to catch your breath now, huh? Then, it’s a good time to groove to the more laid-back Carole sager hit “Stronger Than Before” – but don’t get too comfortable as the keyboardist hops all over the Michael Jackson smash “Remember the Time.” Sharp, hot, and sweaty – but you know that. There’s so much more where all of this comes from. For example, there’s the sweet and oh-so-sexy “Missing You,” there’s the great cover of Toto’s “Georgy Porgy,” and the take-the-funk-home title track finale. This is a can’t-miss album, for sure.
It’s been 6 years coming, but Party in the Back is more than worth your while. Ramirez takes no prisoners and, with guests including Darren Rahn, Phil Denny, Michael Lington, and others, guarantees that this sophomore release has power to get “it” done.
– Ronald Jackson, The Smooth Jazz Ride
"Well known for his performances at Brian Culbertson’s Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, elegant funk pianist Cecil Ramirez creates a dynamic contemporary style rooted in a classic, R&B throwback vibe on a mix of covers and originals. A dual celebration of soulful sensuality and high octane grooves, PARTY IN THE BACK rolls with big name invites like Culbertson (featured on a wild jam version of Michael Jackson’s “Remember The Time”), Michael Lington, Darren Rahn, Phil Denny and Adam Hawley. Ramirez’s lush ivories provide the melodic thrust on the bright, bouncy “J Street,” the dreamy, laid back “Weekend in Napa” and the perfectly titled, divinely disco-fied “Party in the Back.” Keep the fun front and center and find the PARTY IN THE BACK!"
- Jonathan Widran, SmoothJazz.com
... about Talk To The Hand
"Keyboardist Cecil Ramirez is a smooth jazz pianist located in California, this is an outstanding CD full of memorable tracks and great playing, very much in the vein of Brian Culbertson, so you should definitely check him out!"
- Peter Boehi, Smooth Jazz Vibes
"I never tire of discovering exciting new Smooth Jazz talent, and Sacramento pianist Cecil Ramirez definitely falls into that category. His debut release TALK TO THE HAND is outstanding and can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best keyboard projects from players who’ve become household names in this genre… including Brian Culbertson, Brian Simpson, Jeff Lorber and Gregg Karukas. TALK TO THE HAND should easily catapult Mr. Ramirez into the company of these prolific and talented keyboardists. This is truly Smooth Jazz… lyrical, emotional, with danceable grooves and the influences of contemporary jazz, R&B and Latin America. The production is impeccable, solidifying the album’s overall quality... I highly recommend TALK TO THE HAND. It’s definitely chartbound!"
- Scott O'Brien, SmoothJazz.com
"It’s hard to believe that Smooth Jazz pianist Cecil Ramirez’s self-produced album, “Talk To The Hand”, is his first ever solo release. This maiden effort has all the polish of a major artist/major label release— brilliant musicianship, artfully assembled songs, beautiful recording and mix, and tasteful packaging—a first class production all the way. Ramirez, the pianist, has a fluid, floating, genre-defining style. He plays Smooth Jazz in the truest sense—relaxed and in the groove—yet with a level of sophistication that a jazz purist would admire. Smooth Jazz has found an exciting new voice in Cecil Ramirez."
- Jan Glazier, PianoDisc
Cecil Ramirez does a stellar job with his "Talk To The Hand" album. He's got style. I'm really loving this one. Beautiful music! Quite enjoyable from start to finish. "Palmas Del Mar" is just one of the tracks you'll find yourself listening to again and again. You'll want to get your hands on a copy of this to add to your collection.
- Jackie Anderson, WJAB
“This is a potpourri of covers and originals not to be missed. Skillful, polished, smooth, and funky. It is said that he resembles his good buddy, Brian Culbertson. Yes, but what I also hear is Cecil Ramirez, so effective he is here in establishing his own style and identity, especially in interpretation of covers and his own compositions... At any rate, Ramirez is equally effective in any light. His light tickling of the ivories to more aggressively laying into the piano on the high octane pieces are worthy of a standing ovation and calls for an encore. In addition to some really nice picks for covers, his writing holds its own easily among competent smooth jazz writers.”
- Ronald Jackson, smoothjazzride.com