Jamie Fox: When I Get Home (2006)
With his focus on smooth melodies and graceful rhythms, guitarist Jamie Fox brings us a comfortable ride that honors the impact of great jazz melody-makers such as Joe Pass, Charlie Byrd, Jim Hall, Pat Metheny and George Benson. Interpreting ten original songs with his core trio and added guests, Fox creates impressions as varied as tango and modern jazz. Originally from Southern California, the guitarist identifies with a smooth West Coast sound on this session that provides impressions of Santa Barbara and San Francisco. Along with bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Michael Sarin, Fox lets his melodies flow casually. Tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, trumpet, euphonium and pianoguests Dan Willis, Peck Allmond and Kenny Wernerenter the picture for selected songs, giving the mix a relaxed harmonic texture along with its easygoing rhythms.
As a semifinalist in the 1995 Thelonious Monk International Jazz competition, Fox found common threads between his artistic goals and those of other professional artists. He served as musical director for Joan Baez from 1989-91, guitarist for Blood, Sweat & Tears from 1998-2000 and currently records and performs with singer Jen Chapin as well as the acoustic band Combo Nuvo. Both his "Moniker and "New News represent hard-driving, in-your-face, modern jazz, while ballads such as "Five One & a Half and "Childhood represent gentler family values. The album's title track travels in a different direction that follows rolling hills and grassy meadows toward a familiar melodic destination. The horn mix interrupts Fox' tranquil trio picnic, however, with several pesky asides that change the mood adversely.
The guitarist and his trio provide a beautiful lyrical flow for most of When I Get Home. Adding guests on occasion for textural change in several places, however, causes radical changes that interrupt the logical flow of the session.
Track Listing: Five One & a Half; Row After Row; All in Time; Moniker; Ognat; Leisure; Mine & Yours; Childhood; New News; When I Get Home.
Personnel: Jamie Fox: guitar; Stephan Crump: double-bass; Michael Sarin: drums; Kenny Werner: piano; Dan Willis: reeds; Peck Allmond: reeds, trumpet, euphonium.