CD Reviews

MusicWeb International

Webmaster: Len Mullenger

[ Jazz index ] [Nostalgia index]  [ Classical MusicWeb ] [ Gerard Hoffnung ]


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



BUY NOW
AmazonUK   AmazonUS

THE STRYKER / SLAGLE
BAND EXPANDED

Routes

STRIKEZONE 8813

 

 

City of Angels

Nothin' Wrong With It

Self-Portrait In Three Colors

Routes

Ft. Greene Scene

Great Plains

Extensity

Gardena

Lickety Split Lounge.


Dave Stryker (guitar); Steve Slagle (alto saxophone, soprano saxophone (2), flute (3, 6)); John Clark (French Horn); Billy Drewes (tenor saxophone, bass clarinet (2-3)); Clark Gayton (trombone, tuba (3, 6)); Bill O'Connell (piano, Fender Rhodes (2, 5-6)); Gerald Cannon (bass); McClenty Hunter (drummer)

Recorded November 2015, Trading 8’s Studio, Paramus, NJ [58:20]


It’s seems like only ten minutes ago that I last reviewed a Stryker-Slagle album but time is deceptive. It was actually half an hour. The point is that this duo has been laying down some excellent tracks of late, reflected in a succession of fine discs, of which this is the latest. This time however it’s Stryker-Slagle Unchained or – rather – expanded through the inclusion of keyboard and three additional horns. The quartet is now a righteous octet.

There are nine tracks for the band to negotiate. All are by the co-leaders, four apiece, except one, a classic Mingus composition. This is a wholly appropriate choice as Mingus is something of a lodestar for the bandleaders. City of Angels is a medium-tempo tribute to LA, in which Slagle’s incisive alto is followed by Stryker’s cooking guitar to fine effect, the band’s colours – infused by French horn, trombone and tenor sax – sounding rather reminiscent of Gil Evans. Nothin’ Wrong With It generates a steamy vibe, almost at times High Life, with Slagle wielding his soprano beneficially, whilst the Mingus ballad Self-Portrait in Three Colors is evocatively and deftly coloured via Stryker’s articulate backing and soling, drenched in bluesy stylings, and the bass clarinet of Billy Drewes.

There’s a dose of Blue Note Soul in Slagle’s Ft. Greene Scene with crisp rhythm and the alert keyboard skills of Bill O’Connell – here on Fender Rhodes – driving the music onward but loosely. The tuba makes a striking appearance in Great Plains, lending a richer downward coloration to the band, where the front line voicings are ingeniously deployed. One of Stryker’s most exuberant solos comes in Gardena and the band ends with the up-tempo Blues shuffle of Lickety Split Lounge where Clark Gayton blows a gutsy trombone. It’s a confident and vibrant way to end this fine album.

Jonathan Woolf



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Altus
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Return to Index


You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers: