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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Dave Stryker – Eight Track II

Dave Stryker (guitar); Steve Nelson (vibraphone); Jared Gold (organ); McClenty Hunter (drums)

Recorded at Trading 8’s Studio, Paramus, NJ, July 2016

STRIKEZONE 8814 [65:53]





Harvest For The World

What's Going On

Trouble Man

Midnight Cowboy

When Doves Cry

Send One Your Love

I Can't Get Next To You

Time Of The Season

Signed Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours

One Hundred Ways

Sunshine Of Your Love


Mining pop classics of the 1970s has been on Dave Stryker’s agenda for a couple of years – at least since Eight Track back in 2014. Now here comes a reprise of the theme in the form of an eleven-track celebration of songs by the likes of Marvin Gaye, the Isley Brothers, Stevie Wonder and Price and it’s called Eight Track II.

Stryker has arranged everything himself, apart from four tracks co-arranged with the organist in his band, Jared Gold. There’s an easy loping shuffle feel to Harvest for the World and a leisurely balladic swing to What’s Going On whilst vibes player Steve Nelson stands out on Gaye’sTrouble Man, the cooking quartet powered by the propulsive Gold and McClenty Hunter. The leader himself takes an eloquent solo on Midnight Cowboy, its languid and deft figures evoking Wes Montgomery. The band responds avidly to Prince’s When Doves Cry, digging in with purpose and prodigious energy. The again they can bring out the textually allusive message of Stevie Wonder’s Send One Your Love where a pervasive lyricism acts as an apt counterpoint to the energy levels to be heard elsewhere. That funky R n B vibe infuses The Temptations’I Can’t Get Next To You as well as the swinging blues of Time of the Season. So, for every mellow opus – such as the James Ingram song One Hundred Ways – there’s an up-tempo finger-snapper like Cream’s Sunshine of Your Love to bring back something of that Strykeresque hot house vitality.

I can’t say that this is his most imaginative or far reaching album, but it is thoroughly enjoyable; he manages to co-opt their idiom to his own one and in so doing generates something tangibly exciting.

Jonathan Woolf

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