Kalifactors: An Introduction to Kalifactors (2003)
The sax/piano/bass/drums quartet offers up a set of engaging originals in the mainstream jazz tradition. The opener, "Where Am I?", is jaunty and dark at the same time, with saxophonist Robert Stillman blowing a cool Stan Getz tone in front of a crisp rhythm. The band did a three week tour of Spain in November 2001, just a few months before this recording, and they obviously gelled into a tight, crisp unit.
On the ballad "The Magician," pianist Albert Sanz enters into a delicate Bill Evans mode; and the mid-tempo "The Rhumba" slides into a sinuous groove, with piano and drums engaged in a point/counterpoint conversation. "Un Ultimo Esfuezo" features Stillman's stretched-out lines up against pianist Sanz in an angular, percussive mood.
These are talented musicians and fine songwriters, but I would love to have heard them tackle a standard, orconsidering their agessomething from the rock world, a la the much-hyped Bad Plus or Dave Douglas.
A solid debut. We'll be hearing more from The Kalifactors.
Track Listing: Where Am I?, Kalifactors, Bus, The Magician, The Rhumba, Un Ultimo Esfuerza, A.M. 5:31
Personnel: Albert Sanz, piano; Robert Stillman, tenor sax; Chris Van Voorst Van Beest, bass; Kendrick Scott, drums
Record Label: Blue Moon