Steve Thomas: Jaz-Mobi Project (2003)
Although this album is billed as Jazz-Mobi Project on the front cover and spine, New England guitarist/composer Steve Thomas' name appears above the title on the label of the disc. It is notable as a showcase for Thomas' abilities on guitar, attractive compositions in a varied number of musical genres, and arrangements.
Jazz-Mobi Project moves about pretty quickly from setting to setting, and Thomas wisely opens the album with the most marketable tune, "Dancin Feet." This funk/groove track moves with the feel of a organ/tenor/guitar combo (although there is no organ per se listed in the credits). The use of synths here provide that patina. "Kylie's Blues II" is in the same category, albeit with various tempo changes. "Looking Up" is a smooth jazz showcase for the guitarist, and on "Breeze On A Bay" he employs a Latin-lite flavor. Both of these tracks cover almost thirteen minutes of music and could have been pared down. On "The Gift" Thomas gets to display his acoustic techniques; it's likely the most attractive tune here, while the appropriately named "Jader-Mash" combines acid jazz (or hip-hop) techniques with the Thomas composition.
Jaz-Mobi Project offers a lot of listening, and primarily due to the fact that it covers multiple shades of jazz, the album seems like a long ride. Those who prefer variety and no set agenda will likely appreciate it for that reason. Anyone more interested in a single mood, setting or genre may find it unsettling.
Track Listing: Dancin' Feet, Kylie's Blues II, Looking Up, Breeze On A Bay, The Gift, Jader-Mash, Way-Farther, Ponder, The Journey, Kylie's Blues, Babes in Toyland, Breeze On A Bay(short program).
Personnel: Steve Thomas, guitars, bass, synths, samples; Maggie Rizzi, 4 & 6 string bass; Frank Basile, drums; Dan Abrue, sax & e-wi; Carl Jacobson, grooves (#4,#6); Dave Thomas, percussion; Joey P. & Dale Ramsey, keyboards, bass & drum programming(#3); Kylie & Alexa, Kid Vox Samples; Ensemble Sample on #4-Bob Ponti,keys; Maggie Rizzi,bass; Stanley Swan, drums.