Home » Jazz Articles » Steve Gadd Band: 70 Strong

98
Album Review

Steve Gadd Band: 70 Strong

By

Sign in to view read count
Track review of "Oh, Yeah?"

Steve Gadd Band: 70 Strong
Since the 70s, Steve Gadd has pretty much seen it and done it all, and recognized as one of the most influential drummers of the modern era, spanning numerous musical genres. His slippery cross-sticking between the hi-hat and snare drum amid new ways and means to generate a funk groove, along with his famous drum solo on the title track of Steely Dan's 1977 landmark album "Aja," are just a few noteworthy accreditations of a distinguished career. For example, he's performed on seminal jazz fusion albums for guitarist Al Di Meola and keyboardist Chick Corea while navigating tricky time signatures with the greatest of ease. Thus 70 Strong is a celebration of his 70th birthday as he performs with an all-star crew on an album that is a bit more up-tempo and briskly in the pocket than the rather discreet and probing, Gattitude (BFM Jazz, 2013).

The band locks into a loping and gradually ascending soulful, jazz funk motif on the title track of keyboardist Jan Hammer's (Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jeff Beck) jazz fusion classic Oh, Yeah? (Nemperor Records, 1976). Guitarist Michael Landau launches the piece with a rhythmic picking vamp, outlining the primary theme as Gadd lays down a rather suave groove leading to trumpeter Walt Fowler and Larry Goldings' (Fender Rhodes) sleek rendition of the principle melody. The soloists trade fours and raise the pitch as the guitarist ups the ante via heavily distorted sustain lines, where the frontline steps into the upper-register and even mimics Hammer's famous, recoiling synth riffs. Here and throughout, it's safe to say that the musicians' shimmering enthusiasm impel the celebratory nature of Gadd's 70th birthday and magnificent career.

Track Listing

Personnel

Steve Gadd: drums; Walt Fowler: trumpet, flugelhorn; Larry Goldings: keyboards, accordion; Jimmy Johnson: bass; Michael Landau: guitars.

Album information

Title: 70 Strong | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: BFM Jazz


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a champion of jazz since 1995, supporting it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to rigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

View events near Rochester
Jazz Near Rochester
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Local Businesses | More...

More

The Pan American Nutcracker Suite
Joe McCarthy's Afro Bop Alliance Big Band
The Power Station Sessions
The Pat Petrillo Big Rhythm Band
Sera Niebla
Nicolas Politzer
Xaybu: The Unseen
Steve Lehman & Sélébéyone

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.