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Bob Sneider & Paul Hofman: Escapade (2006)

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Bob Sneider & Paul Hofman: Escapade How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Bob Sneider and Paul Hofmann called their first collaborative effort "Interconnection," and that was an apt name, for the two showed that they had an affinity that resulted in some darned fine music. Though their second collaboration finds them concentrating on original material, they also look at standards, including a Nat Cole medley, and even add a twist of jazz to a classical tune.

Given their familiarity with each other, it is not surprising that the recording offers a cohesive mood, no matter what style of music they play. They intertwine ideas with fluidity and extend thoughts with seamless logic. One of the best showcases of these attributes comes on the lively "Blues Palindrome. The tune has a strong melody for the two to indulge in; Hofmann is lithe as he dances on the keys, Sneider widening the arch with lightly swing notes. The invention is constant. Once they set an idea and saturate it, they take a different tack, slowing down, getting into an introspective mood and opening exploration.

The duality of their approach, which has a comfortable balance, is also seen to advantage on "Roller Coaster, whose moods are built on the shifting sands of time. Hofmann's emphatic chords open the door to an ornate exploration of the theme. Sneider swings in lightly, letting the melody breathe and expand. It is not long before they shift roles and Hofmann spurs a run of interesting ideas.

They set their own view of a standard on "My Funny Valentine, turning the soft intro into edgy progression as Sneider, in particular, brings in changes that push the edges to realise a taut, effective interpretation.

Track Listing: Roller Coaster; New Invention No. 15; Blues Palindrome; Touching the Sky: Lift Off, Gliding, Floating, Birds-Eye view, On the Wing; Bobs Bossa; Manana Time; New Invention No. 21; Celestial visions; King Cole Trio Medley: Thats What, Lament in chords, Rhumba Azul; A Lullaby; My Funny Valentine; The Great Escape; Improvisations on Prelude No. 22, Op. II Part IV.

Personnel: Bob Sneider: guitar; Paul Hofmann: piano.

Record Label: Sons of Sound

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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