A classically trained pianist and member of the United States Marine Band, Bob Boguslaw recently gave a permanent name (The Way) to a group of musicians who have been playing together for over ten years in the Washington, DC area. Also featuring ace drummer Frank Russo, Gabrielle's Hand
is an extroverted set of performances that include five Boguslaw originals.
The presence of percussionist Chris Rose in addition to drummer Russo gives the band a bubbling bedrock groove. "Do The Math is a particularly noteworthy example of the vitality the percussion tandem imparts. The song also features some fantastic rolling unaccompanied piano work from the leader that is delightfully flashy. Later in the song, the band joins in on background vocals behind Pete BarenBregge's exuberant saxophone solo; it can be rare to hear a band actually having a good time and not just going through the motions.
The other side of the band comes through on the delicate ballad "Gabrielle's Hand. Time seems to stop during BarenBregge's solo as he wrings every drop of feeling from each note, creating an enormous sense of space. The tune ends before you want it to.
The formula for success that Gabrielle's Hand employs is deceptively simple: get a group of talented musicians together and have them play some unique, interesting compositions. It should be easier to do than it is. Credit Bob Boguslaw and The Way for achieving that which so many others fail to do.
Personnel: Bob Boguslaw: piano; Frank Russo: drums and percussion; Pete BarenBregge: saxophones; Aaron Clay: bass; Chris Rose: percussion; Rob Levit: guitar (tracks 4,6); Glenn Paulson: percussion (track 2)