Fans of the Crusaders, Weather Report and other fusion acts of the 1970's and 1980's will certainly enjoy the sound of Andy Adamson and his quartet. His writing and keyboard work has heart and soul, and the group is a solid unit of excellent players. The quartet features Adamson's original compositions. The line-up on his latest album, A Cry for Peace, includes: Brennan Andes (acoustic and electric bass), drummer Jonathan Taylor, and tenor saxophonist Daniel Bennett. The quartet is a working ensemble and it shows, with a well-defined quartet sound that has an intimate rapport.
"Conquistador" is a Latin-tinged groove that finds the band in top form. The melody is strong and memorable. Adamson's solo is musical and builds energy. Andes melodic acoustic bass solo is underpinned by excellent drum colors by Taylor. Bennett is a very strong player and his swift in the pocket lines with upper register screams add depth to the selection. This bands ability of interweaving grooves defy categorization.
"Follow Your Heart," is a high-energy workout with a kinetic groove that Adamson punctuates with creative compositional skills, voicings and soloing. On the meditative yet haunting "A Cry for Peace," Bennett vocalizes his tenor lines with excellent big rolling chords from Adamson, both building the selection and making a fine musical statement. The mid-tempo swing waltz selection, "The Secret of Life," conjures a reverent relaxed ambiance that the band develops into a relaxed smoldering groove with subtle interactions and building solos. The burners get cranked back up again on "Angel Fire," an incendiary virtuosic straight-eight selection that again showcases Adamson's compositions skills and the ability of the quartet to convincingly convey energy between themselves and engage listener.
Featuring a diverse set of material, ranging from a cooking fusion of stylistic devices from African music, Latin, pop, and jazz elements A Cry for Peace is a collection of eight inspired Adamson penned compositions with a rousing ensemble, that elevates his compositional ideas with a dynamism throughout the album.
Track Listing: Ariel; Conquistador; A Cry for Peace; Follow Your Heart; The Secret of Life; Angel Fire; Early One Morning; Inner Circle.
Personnel: Andy Adamson: keyboards; Dan Bennett: saxophones; Brennan Andes: basses; Jonathan Taylor: drum.
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