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Cinque: Catch A Corner (2011)

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Cinque: Catch A Corner How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

With legendary drummer Steve Gadd
Steve Gadd
Steve Gadd
b.1945
drums
and organist Joey DeFrancesco
Joey DeFrancesco
Joey DeFrancesco
b.1971
organ, Hammond B3
in the lineup, and a clutch of Canada's top session men rounding out the personnel on Catch A Corner, Cinque gives a tip of the hat to the CTI label and its particular style of relaxed—but not smooth—jazz-funk. Olivia Cardinali's vivid cover photograph seems reminiscent of Pete Turner's work for Creed Taylor's '70s-era label. Memories of pianists Bob James
Bob James
Bob James
b.1939
piano
and Richard Tee
Richard Tee
Richard Tee
1943 - 1993
keyboard
are effortlessly conjured by the dual keyboard work of Robi Botos on Fender Rhodes and DeFrancesco on Hammond B-3.

Gadd, whose versatile swing/funk drumming was featured on dozens of jazz and funk recordings throughout the '70s, is right at home here. He hasn't lost a thing over the last few decades—he's as sharp and as inventive as ever. Botos has the mellow soul-jazz thing down pat, and demonstrates how it's done on "Conflicting Advice," the CD's slinky, urbane opener. Saxophonist John Johnson
John Johnson
John Johnson
b.1969
bass
, a first-call session man in the Toronto studios, has a big warm tenor sound reminiscent of Houston Person
Houston Person
Houston Person
b.1934
sax, tenor
and Stanley Turrentine
Stanley Turrentine
Stanley Turrentine
1934 - 2000
sax, tenor
, and his overdubbed horn section on "Saturday Night, Sunday Morning" sounds like something from one of Gadd's old Stuff records with Richard Tee and Cornell Dupree
Cornell Dupree
Cornell Dupree
1942 - 2011
guitar, electric
.

The feel on Catch A Corner is super-tight, yet really spontaneous. DeFrancesco, a flashy and energetic soloist who, at first glance, doesn't really fit the laidback jazz-funk mold, might seem to be the odd man out here. However, the band's repertoire—assembled on-the-spot during the recording session—includes a number of pieces suited to DeFrancesco's hyperactive Jimmy Smith
Jimmy Smith
Jimmy Smith
1925 - 2005
organ, Hammond B3
-inspired style. These tunes hearken back to the early- to mid-1960s, the heyday of the Hammond B-3 combos led by players such as Smith, Jack McDuff
Jack McDuff
Jack McDuff
1926 - 2001
organ, Hammond B3
and Jimmy McGriff
Jimmy McGriff
Jimmy McGriff
1936 - 2008
organ, Hammond B3
. DeFrancesco really lights up "Gepetto's Blues," a hot serving of basic grits 'n gravy blues, and comes barreling out of the gate with some big thrills on "Over The Humpty Dump," a hard-charging jazz waltz. DeFrancesco also proves to be a consummate team player, providing, for example, an endless array of slick and swinging fills behind Botos and Johnson on the gospel- drenched second half of "Saturday Night, Sunday Morning." Botos' Rhodes work here also makes a particularly good impression—he's a true soul-jazz keyboardist in the vein of Horace Silver
Horace Silver
Horace Silver
1928 - 2014
piano
and Cedar Walton
Cedar Walton
Cedar Walton
1934 - 2013
piano
.

The appeal of Catch A Corner lies in the abilities of these five musicians to find a freshness in some very basic and familiar- sounding material. They are hugely successful in that regard; the playing here is excellent and inspired throughout. While some of the music may be a bit too mellow and easygoing for some, those who enjoy slinky '70s jazz-funk and '60s organ jazz will find Catch A Corner a veritable treasure trove.

Track Listing: Conflicting Advice; Geppetto's Blues; Saturday Night, Sunday Morning; Two Worlds; Catch a Corner; Over the Humpty Dump; Bolivia; Still Crazy After All These Years.

Personnel: Steve Gadd: drums; Peter Cardinali: bass, horn arrangements; Joey DeFrancesco: Hammond B3 organ; Robi Botos: piano, Fender Rhodes; John Johnson: saxophones.

Record Label: Alma Records


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