2AZZ1 Reviews


That dazzling So Cal couple, Craig and Mary Durst, aka 2AZZ1, have come up with another winner. It's called DRIVEN, and "Q'd Up," the first hit single, is just the tip of the iceberg. This second album ("Ready" was 2AZZ1's debut disc in '01) is hot stuff, with ten great Mary Durst originals...all of them memorable and captivating, whether sensual ballads or lively romps, vocals or instrumentals. 2AZZ1 includes Steve Billman on bass, Brian Price on guitar, and features guest Steve Oliver on the tasty Latin "La Palapa," a salute to one of the band's favorite Long Beach hangs. Mary plays keyboards throughout, and sings on four tunes, including "Tell Me," a hooky little excursion that's sure to get its share of radio airplay and "Heaven Is Here," a smooth, sensual ballad, with intriguing interplay between Mary's captivating voice and Craig's sultry sax. Speaking of Craig's sax, it shines brightly on the 6 instrumentals. Besides the first hit single, I really dig "All Day Sunday" and "Swing Ahead." Craig and Mary knew each other growing up in Michigan, reconnected as their musical careers led them both to L.A., and have since fallen in love, married, and formed one of the hottest bands on the L.A. club and festival scenes. 2AZZ1 has shown an impressive maturing of their music with DRIVEN. It's eminently listenable and total ear candy from start to finish. You'll hear exactly what I mean when you partake of this delicious new collection of tunes!~SCOTT O'BRIEN

Smooth Jazz ®

Carol Archer
The Music Says "Summer"

A perfect place to begin listening is the buoyant mid-tempo grooves of Gerald Albright's appealing "Deep Into My Soul" (Peak). Whoa, can he play! Segue to Doc Powell's artful, sensual cover of Carole King's "It's Too Late" (Heads Up), which features Kirk Whalum and Brian Culbertson -- an embarrassment of riches, you may prefer the non-vocal or unplugged versions. Peter Frampton's back with a nuevo flamenco-styled con percussion track, "Ida Y Vuelta (Out & Back)" (UMe). Bad cat Steve Raybine earns good karma with a tune that sounds like a smooth jazz anthem, "Breckenridge Blue" (Bad Kat). The title of the cleverly named duo 2AZZ1's "Q'd Up" (CMD) may be an homage to Spaghettini Jazz Bar & Grill's maitre d' named Q, who plays an integral part of the success of KTWV (The Wave)/Los Angeles' Smooth Jazz Sunday Brunch. 2AZZ1 are local heroes who have a groove-laden tune on your desk now. Is it time for a cool beverage? How about now-ish?

“Nothing can be further removed / Not everyone wants to be soothed . ” I remember taking to heart those words sung by British rocker Graham Parker in 1983's “Passive Resistance.” At the time, much of pop music was lacking in both heart and fire, and Parker's scowl and no-holds-barred delivery sucked me in.

Only living has gotten a tad more complicated these days, and to borrow a song title from singer/songwriter Iris Dement, easy's gettin' harder every day. Truth is, sometimes we do want to be soothed, or at least offered a temporary escape from the shit life throws at us. And the one group I'm turning to right now to decompress is 2AZZ1, a SoCal smooth jazz couple featuring singer/songwriter/keyboardist Mary Durst and her saxophone-playing hubby, Craig.

Now I've been known to rip smooth jazz as being slick, overproduced, and, at its worst, mind-numbing. Yet there's something about the enigmatic 2AZZ1 that puts me both at ease and lifts me up. The duo's latest release, … Driven , roams sweetly from tender ballads to swinging instrumental workouts, the latter showcasing Craig's dexterous, well-placed chops.

Onstage, the couple radiates a warm charisma that's downright contagious. At a recent gig at Spaghettini in Seal Beach, the energy between the Dursts and the audience was palpable, one that fostered a feel-good vibe lasting long into the night. Who knew? (John Roos)


Travis Towle
You guys have some GREAT sounding music, something I have never heard before!!! I think our listeners will like the new sound... VERY PRO cd!!


Jazz Promoter Sandy Shore
Album: REaDy!
Label: CMD
Craig and Mary Durst are 2AZZ1 (read 'two as one''). This upbeat, funky smooth jazz duo is based out of Southern California where they have led their five-piece group to become one of the South Land's most popular pop jazz bands on the club & festival scene. Their latest recording, "REaDy" is a power packed, feel-good fusion of smooth jazz and pop driven by Craig Durst's solid sax work and heated up by Mary Durst's energetic vocals and keyboards. The fun factor on this project comes in the form of surprise with smooth groovin' hip hop and rap with urban elements spun through several of the tunes. This is a trend that we here at Smoothjazz.com give two thumbs up to. Smooth Jazz be bumpin' on REaDy! This is the perfect CD to accompany your daily work-out. We're sure Craig and Mary would be very pleased with that usage of their music as the two are as dedicated to health & fitness as they are to their music; the two are as one for the Dursts. Smoothjazz.com is feeling Slidin' On A Wood Floor, When I Think About You, Just Right Baby, Everybody Wants Some, and I'm Amazed

CD Baby
It's the Best!!!

Reviewer: Susie Q
This cd always makes me feel good. The vocals are great and the sax is awesome. A great cd from a great band! i love it! i

Reviewer: Corince Mahorince
this Cd is great to do my work to. wonderful jazz. Why aren't you "big time"!?

Reviewer: Bobby Blair
Wow this CD is so well done! Great "feel good" hooks that stick in my head.

On Fresh Trax:

When I Think About You - 2AZZ1: As well we have one from 2AZZ1 (pronounced 2 as 1) & The Body and Soul Band. The group is led by the team of Craig and Mary Durst. The two have collaborated musically since about 1984, with this most recent ensemble becoming one of the southern CaliforniaÕs most popular pop jazz outfits. CraigÕs solid sax work provides the focal point and whole thing is brought to a simmer by Mary's vocals and keyboard work. REaDy! is the latest from 2AZZ1 and from that recording we'll have the Afro-influenced When I Think of You. http://www.2azz1.com/

We don't stop there as there is more great new music by Will Downing, Demo Cates, Paul Rozmus, Craig Chaquico, Jimmy Sommers, Chris Grunder, and 3rd Force that has never before been played on Cafe Jazz. There are also recent tunes from Warren Hill, Acoustic Alchemy, Oleta Adams, and Brazilian Nights; some personal favorites including Sam Riney and under the heading of "Cafe Jazz discovery artist" is Richard Beausoliel out of Longueuil, Quebec.

As if that wasn't enough, there is also a surprise or two! Other than that, it's typically fantastic ! Thanks again for listening and make sure to spread the word about CafŽ Jazz, Canada's smooth jazz connection.
Cafe Jazz is heard in Toronto on 88.5

Jazzman Online

By Kenneth Pearson
Ready! - 2AZZ1
Michigan was the starting point for both members of our next group, 2AZZ1. After both separately moved to LA, they joined forces and created the group OnKall, which released the album True Love in 1986. Since changing their names to 2AZZ1 (Two As One), they have performed with Nancy Wilson, and opened for Earth, Wind & Fire and Ronnie Laws. Their newest release Ready features a high-energy package of original groove-heavy tunes and jazz fusion with a world-influenced twist. The perfect match of Mary's vocals/keyboards and Craig's piping hot sax work creates an irresistible sound that cannot help but energize you.