Bassist Dave Sharp and his Secret Seven ensemble interconnect an expansive jazz layout with New Orleans swamp-funk, world-beat rhythm structures, and variable components of Eastern and Western fare. They propagate a cheery panorama via these sustainable compositions, often highlighted by memorable hooks and edgy soloing ventures by multi-reedman Chris Kaercher and others. Variety looms as a significant positive, where the band abides by a festive disposition throughout.
Sharp lays down a fluid and at times, monstrous bottom-end on these pieces, teeming with punchy horns and rollicking jazz-grooves. And Kaercher often bullwhips matters into submission with his corpulent attack and torrid phrasings, yet often tempers the current when required. Many of these pieces are engineered with gobs of impact and a sweeping wall-of-sound aura, to complement some shuffling grooves abetted by Dale Grisa's Hammond B3-initiated soul-funk passages.
On "Blackout," the band spawns a tender melody line, enamored by Kaercher's radiant sax and Grisa's trickling piano phrasings. Here, the band works within a harmonically appealing vibe. Sharp's clever arrangements fuse the past with the present, to complement the artists' bold and brash statements, all underscored by an entertaining outlook.
Armed with a big sound, Secret Seven intersperses an Afro-Cuban element into the grand schema as guest artists lend a hand within various movements by injecting East Indian, jazz-fusion and Americana elements. Hence, a multifaceted gala that skirts an often-opaque region, consisting of power, eloquence and warmth, neatly packed into a rather all-encompassing presentation.
Track Listing: Africano; Chrispy Underground; Skeleton Key; Blackout; Boop Bwee Ahh; The Seventh Secret; Lootmar (Wind Song); Africano [Radio Edit]; Can I Be Your Squeeze?
Personnel: Dave Sharp: electric and upright bass, guitar; Chris Kaercher: soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, flute and harmonica; Eric "Chucho" Wilhelm: drums and percussion; Dale Grisa: Hammond B3 and piano. Featuring--Kris Kurzawa: guitar; Ross Huff: trumpet and flugelhorn; John Churchville: tabla; Chris McCall: vocals; Sean Ike: vocals; Jon-Paul Frappier: guitar; Alex Anest: lap steel; Eenor: yayli tanbur.
Year Released: 2010
| Record Label: Vortex-Water Music
| Style: Modern Jazz
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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