Larry Coryell / Steve Marcus / Steve Smith / Kai Eckhardt: Count's Jam Band Reunion
Count's Jam Band Reunion swells with a spontaneous, alive groove under soaring guitar and soprano sax melodies. Coryell's songwriting, as the sole writer behind almost all of the tunes, bounds with clever grooves in odd meters that feel completely natural in the skilled hands of Smith and Eckhardt. The songs range from classic fusion styles, like the 17:8 time groove of "Scotland," to the more traditional electric jazz sound of "Rhapsody & Blues," Coryell's variation on the Gershwin classic "Rhapsody in Blue." The acoustic guitar and sax duet "Pedals and Suspensions" breathes a mellow contrast between the frantic fusion numbers like "Scotland" and "Reunion."
Coryell moves flawlessly from clean jazz chords to wailing fusion leads, matched in ferocity by Marcus' sax. Eckhardt's bass, and writing, provide a solid foundation, with his fretless growl in places recalling moments on Gary Willis' solo records. Smith's tasteful and precise drumming frames the whole sound while letting Coryell and Marcus take the forefront. Pianist Jeff Chimenti adds a more classic jazz timbre and considerable sonic depth on four tracks, a clever arrangement idea with only one rhythm chording instrument, Coryell's guitar, in the band.
Coryell and Marcus may have set out just to have fun playing music reminiscent of their 60s band on Count's Jam Band Reunion, but they end up also capturing an energetic and unprompted vibe in catchy but clever fusion songwriting. Count's Jam Band Reunion stands as a great modern fusion record on its own, irrespective of the history of the musicians and their music.
More Info: http://www.shrapnelrecords.com/
Personnel: Larry Coryell - Guitar
Steve Marcus - Guitar
Steve Smith - Drums
Kai Eckhardt - Bass
Record Label: Tone Center
Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock