How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Scott Adams' liner notes describe Rob Ryndak's musical perspective as arising from 'the decades'long marriage of Jazz with the tropics,' and rhythmically speaking, the point is well made. This isn't typical 'Latin Jazz' ' that is to say, there are few brassy fireworks or cascading congas overspreading the landscape ' but an insistent beat from south of the border underscores much of Ryndak's music and helps set his group apart from others who are staking a territorial claim in the area of 'light' or 'smooth' Jazz, which in many other respects this is (the exceptions are the fast'paced title track on which the industrious rhythm section bolsters flashing solos by Wunder on tenor, Lewis and Benedetti, and 'Jade,' an up'tempo groover that features Wunder's soprano and Ryndak's piano). All compositions and arrangements are Ryndak's, and he uses his reliable tendency to create appealing melodies ('Ojos Cafes Hermosos' and 'Boundless,' for example, are about as engaging as they come) as a framework on which to position his wide'ranging rhythmic canvas. Lewis, one of the Chicago area's most respected players, is somewhat under'used, but that's understandable, as this is not the sort of all'out blowing session in which he could cause sparks to fly (he does offer intrepid solos on 'Hierophany,' 'Rachel Ann' and, as mentioned earlier, 'Boundless'). Others in the cast are reliable if unassuming, and Ryndak makes his presence felt both as pianist and percussionist. This is Ryndak's second date as leader, and it shows considerable promise. Beyond that, it encompasses more than a few moments of 'boundless' Jazz that are worth hearing.
Track listing: Bouncing Back; Down and Dirty; Hierophany; Rachel Ann; Ojos Cafes Hermosos; A Dance in the Park; Boundless; Jade; When It All Comes Together; Rain Forest; Miami Getaway; Sable (56:35).
Rob Ryndak, acoustic piano, electric piano, synthesizer, percussion; Ruben Alvarez, percussion; Vince Benedetti, trombone; Paulinho Garcia, guitar; Jim Gifford, drums; Kevin Guin, electric bass; Jim Johnson, flute; Bobby Lewis, trumpet, flugelhorn; Dave Ness, electric guitar; Mike Staron, electric and acoustic bass; Steve Wunder, soprano, alto, tenor saxophones, flute.