How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
The Way is Bob Boguslaw's labor of love, jazz style. Boguslaw is a classically trained pianist, and a musician with a remarkably varied resume. He performs regularly with The President's Own "United States Marine Band", and has performed with Aretha Franklin, Bo Diddley, Smokey Robinson, and The Moody Blues, in between jazz jam sessions galore, while still remaining active as a classical musician.
And now he's offering up The Way, a nicely crafted jazz set of nine of his own songs and one Leonard Bernstein tune, "Some Other Time".
A quartet outing, tenor sax in front of the piano/bass/drums rhythm; and as you might expect from a consumate pro musician with classical training, the compositions are solidly constructed, with a subtle grace and eloquence, with enough improvisational room for the soloists to shine.
All of the players sport impressive professional resumes; and the impression one gets upon repeated listenings is of a group of players getting together and cutting loose from the relative constraints of the day job musician duties.
Boguslaw's compositions are subtley complex, the rhythm of his piano and Rick Klane's drums, and Dave Wundrow's bass are solid yet inventive, and the sax work of Peter Barenbregge is hard to pin downmuscular on tenor, light and breezy on soprano, by turns forthright and subtle.
The opener, "The Way", wails, Barenbregge's sax driving hard, followed by a wonderfully freewheeeling piano solo by leader Boguslaw. "Getting Out" starts out honky tonkish on B.B.'s piano, and then some Wayne Shorterish soprano sax stuff, a bit of a whimsical inerlude. "Slave Labor" is jaunty and rather dark at the same time, featuring some guest guitar licks that sting like a wasp, and "The Promise I'll Keep" is something of a low key rollicker. And the closer, Bernstein's "Some Other Time" features a rich-toned vocal by Mary Boguslaw, and a slow, golden trumpet solo by Robert Vetter.
A solid and interesting jazz outing by a bunch of professionals guys getting away from the musical day jobs.
Track Listing: The Way, Getting OPut, Even in My Dreams, Slave Labor, A Promise I'll
Keep, Bereceuse, Why Not, I'll Remember, Ancestor's Dance, Some Other
Personnel: Bob Boguslaw, piano; Peter C. Barenbregge, sax; Dave Wundrow, bass;
Rick Klane, drums