Guitarist Dave Askren and Saxophonist Jeff Benedict have teamed up as co-leaders to form an ensemble that explores six standards and four originals with a CD entitled, It's All About The Groove. With Askren and Benedict forming the nucleus of the project, they are joined by drummer Ramon Banda and bassist John Belzaguy. The title of the CD is more than just a likable slogan; for Askren it is the groove" that holds the backbone of all good jazz and the goal of the entire project. Askren graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston and was hired ...read more
Guitarist Dave Askren leads a stellar quartet on Some Other Things through a program of modern mainstream jazz originals and one standard. He provides a comfortable ambience, with several layers of harmony all wrapped up in nine lyrical melodies. Typically, the quartet drives straight ahead: forceful to some extent, but still laid-back enough to let the session swing enjoyably.
Askren's guitar voice combines a smooth texture with fluid technique. He and saxophonist Jeff Benedict represent a cool side of jazz that some folks like to refer to as the West Coast sound. Their combined voices grow velvety when ...read more
This new release by Los Angeles-based jazz guitarist Dave Askren is his second album in four years with a small ensemble cast. In his first, a trio tribute to Bill Evans titled Re: Bill Evans, Askren recorded with bassist Mike Flick and drummer Steve Sykes. Some Other Things brings together Flick, drummer Jon Nathan, Askren and saxophonist Jeff Benedict to form the Dave Askren Quartet. Interestingly enough, both recordings are missing a basic rhythm instrument that's common in most musical settings: the piano. While the music is not unconventional and is generally arranged to feature Askren's guitar in most cases, ...read more
Los Angeles-based guitarist Dave Askren has undertaken a formidable project in adapting the music and style of Bill Evans for a guitar-bass-drums trio. In his liner notes Askren goes to a great deal of trouble to rationalize the validity and difficulties of this undertaking, insofar as Evans' influences for many of the selections and the difficulties of transposing his piano voicings on the guitar. It makes for an interesting story but, to these untrained ears, the question remains as to whether it all works or not. Unequivocally, these eleven tracks do bear the stamp of the late pianist. ...read more