With the second installment of West Coast-based guitarist Jeff Richman’s “Live At The Baked Potato Volume Two”, the artist offers more jazz/fusion/rock pieces culled from a series of spontaneous gatherings among many of California’s most notable session musicians, group leaders and solo artists. Perhaps a bit less affecting than the previous release, as Richman once again leads various ensembles through a series of spontaneously organized standards and original compositions, recorded live at this famous Los Angeles jazz venue.
Richman’s arsenal includes sustained extended notes, legato chord progressions, nimble plucking and animated lead soloing, evidenced on the opener, “Kamaroon”, where he joins bassist, Abraham Laboriel drummer, Vinnie Colaiuta and saxophonist Steve Tavaglione for an often burgeoning rock/funk groove. The guitarist shares lead soloing duties with “Yellowjackets” pianist, Russell Ferrante for an affable, lightly swinging rendition of “On The Trail,” yet the proceedings heat up during trumpeter Jeff Beal’s quasi Miles/contemporary jazz, straight-four composition titled, “Leap Of Faith.” Thus, Richman closes out the production with a silky smooth, straight ahead swing vamp of Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm,” while the latest installment of Live At The Baked Potato is all about upbeat grooves and sprightly soloing, although the fanfare wanes a notch or two upon subsequent spins.
Track Listing: Kamaroon; On the trail; Leap Of Faith; Let This Be The One; Star Cycle; I Got Rhythm
Personnel: Jeff Richman; guitar: (selected tracks) Vinnie Colaiuta; drums: Abraham Laboriel; bass: Steve Tavaglione; sax: Russell Ferrante; keyboards: Gregg Bissonette; drums: Jimmy Earl; bass: Dave Weckl; drums: Peter Wolf; keyboards: Tom Brechtlein; drums: Simon Phillips; drums: Tom Kennedy; bass: Jeff Babko; keyboards: Brandon Fields; sax: Jimmy Haslip; bass: Danny Gottlieb; drums