Foreign Exchange: Made in New York
Thankfully, the remainder of the program is instrumental. But the next two tunes are also sambas, giving us three consecutive tracks with similar tempo and feel (although "Jump Start" does shift to swing for the solos). The boppish "Don’t Wake Me Up," which sounds like a cross between "Four" and "I’ll Remember April," is the first non-latin track. This is followed by the faster post-bop swing of "Futility," the modal groove of "Come This Way," and the clunky funk shuffle of "Nat’s Good Blues." All the band members play decently enough, the standouts being Rick Strobert on alto and John Ranney on piano. But the writing, split between guitarist Marc Levy and bassist Nat Valentine, is uniformly nondescript. Moreover, the recording quality is mighty low — it barely passes muster for a demo, let alone a finished album. These musicians owe it to themselves to return to the recording studio with the goal of getting better results.
Tracks: 1. Rencontre (pres de tois) 2. Jump Start 3. West of Africa 4. Don’t Wake Me Up 5. Futility 6. Come This Way 7. Nat’s Good Blues.
Rick Strobert, alto sax; John Ranney, piano; Marc Levy, guitars; Nat Valentine, bass; Sam Allen, drums; Andre Strobert, drums (7).