Dave Haskell Group: Pivot Point (2013)
A one-time highly respected sideman and improviser in the San Francisco area, guitarist Dave Haskell put most of these activities on hold after becoming a commercial airline pilot. After hanging up his wings, the artist re-enters the scene with his tight-knit core band and garners the expertise of prominent West Coast musicians, guitarist Robben Ford, keyboardist Russell Ferrante, bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Toss Panos, appearing on select tracks. Perhaps residing a bit within the jazz-fusion lite schema, the artist doesn't pursue technical gymnastics or high volume endeavors. It's largely about employing taste, and compositional depth amid some pop and sizzle in choice spots.
Ferrante, Ford, Haslip and Panos man the helm on "Monty," which rings like an ode to jazz guitar great, Wes Montgomery. Here, the guitarists design their activities atop a 4/4 vamp and other metrics, accented by Panos' snappy Latin-centric rim-shots. Ferrante, performing on the Fender Rhodes, comps and shades the guitarists' laconic counter-melodies and soloing spots, distinctly separated on the left and right channels. They infuse bluesy inferences and recoiling single note licks to parallel Montgomery-like chord solos, displaying serious jazz chops along the way.
Track Listing: 1. Agnes 2. For Barack 3. Mamba Samba 4. An Orchid For Emily 5. Second Look 6. Thirty West By Seventy ('o Something Hundred) 7. 888 Watson 8. For The Moment 9. Monty 10. Eye Of The Hurricane
Personnel: Dave Haskell: guitars; Robben Ford: guitar; Russell Ferrante: Fender Rhodes, keyboards; Jimmy Haslip: bass; Toss Panos: drums.
Record Label: Coastal Sky Productions
Style: Modern Jazz