Dave Stryker Blue to the Bone IV CD Release Birdland July 5-6
Dave Stryker's Blue to the Bone IV CD Release will take place at Birdland in New York City Fri/Sat. July 5-6 - 8:30 and 11:00 pm.
Dave Stryker's playing comes out of a hard bop and soul jazz stream, heavily imbued with the blues. His Blue to the Bone septet features a horn section inspired by R&B artists such as James Brown and Ray Charles. Joel Harrison has long explored music beyond jazz, what was once called Third Stream, from Appalachian folk to Asian, as well as fusion with classical music, employing a string quartet. On his new album, Harrison creates music for a large ensemble (19 pieces) for the first time.
Blue to the Bone IV, Dave Stryker (SteepleChase), revives that eponymous band for a fourth album, 17 years after the first. Cohesion is a given because the band's core-Stryker, B3 organist Jared Gold and drummer McClenty Hunter-is also Stryker's working trio; plus alto saxophonist Steve Slagle is Stryker's co-leader of their long-time quartet. Rounding out the horns are trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, trombonist Vincent Gardner and baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan. A blues vibe pervades the CD, as most selections are 12-bar or 8-bar riff blues, the notable exception an R&B song. Yet while the good-time feel of soul jazz is pervasive, the music itself is pleasingly varied, mostly through the changing of tempos and rhythmic emphases from track to track.
"Blues Strut," one of five Stryker originals, kicks things off in a down-home, greasy fashion with a big backbeat, rolling organ and punchy horn riffs pushing the parade of soloists: all but drummer Hunter. Stryker's tone here is deep delta twang but on his "Workin'," which follows, it's a cleaner one, as befits a swing uptempo. Ed Palermo's arrangement of "For the Love of You," an Isley Brothers tune, recalls the late organist Charles Earland's penchant for jazzing up R&B, right down to the call-and-response horns and organ bridge.
Stryker also pays tribute to his early employer, organist Jack McDuff, on his "Blues for Brother Jack," with a boogaloo- inflected backbeat and trenchant solos from bari sax and trombone. Stryker also nods to Robert Johnson, his "Come On In My Kitchen" becoming a guitar feature as a heartbeat tempo blues; and James Brown, in a rollicking take on his "Soul Power." Contrapuntal horn, organ and guitar lines are featured on the latter, as they are on Stryker's "Big Foot," a catchy evocation of New Orleans' secondline rhythms with springy beats from Hunter. Trumpeter Hendrix shines on "Shades Ahead," propelled by a Latin shuffle, and on Nat Adderley's "Fun," a fast riff blues arranged by Slagle with syncopated, sprung rhythms. In all, the album is a worthy successor to, and reflects the spirit of, Blue to the Bone.
For more information, visit http://www.davestryker.com
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