Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

263

Steve Winwood: About Time

Farrell Lowe By

Sign in to view read count
Steve Winwood: About Time Steve Winwood first appeared on the musical radar screen in the mid-'60s when he joined the Spencer Davis Group at the tender age of fifteen. In 1967 he left the group and helped form Traffic, an association that brought him worldwide fame. In the '80s he took a creative turn with the release of Arc Of A Diver, a style much more concerned with pop sensibilities, revolving less around the soulful vocal and organ style that had given him such distinction earlier in his career. The new style proved to be financially successful and Winwood delivered more of the same to varying degrees of popular response... and so it goes to the present recording.

About Time is another matter altogether. After a six-year hiatus from recording, Winwood has returned to many of the musical elements of his youth. To cut to the chase, this album is heartfelt and has some genuine soul, and those two elements are always welcome in my book. He has chosen to pare down the production: gone are the synthesizers and background singers, this time pruned out to made space for straightforward vocals, Hammond organ, guitar, occasional sax/flute, and percussion. The lyrical content on this effort seem to means something to him and he's put together a group of players that reflect that sentiment to some degree. The musicians are all quite proficient.

The music has traces of later period Reebop-era Traffic, what with the percussion and all, and it also carries faint traces of Winwood's involvement with Latin greats Tito Puente and Arturo Sandoval. What is new about this effort is Winwood's unabashed return to the Hammond and the contributions of guitarist Jose Piresde Almeida Neto (credits with Airto Moreira and Flora Purim).

While all of the selections follow predictable song forms, Neto often manages to breathe some life into things. There is nothing unconventional about his playing style, but his tonal choices often lift the tunes off the ground and his solos profoundly affect their focus. Without his contributions this album would be seriously lacking in color and shape. Check out his solo on "Bully" and you'll get the idea.

The music presented on this effort is designed to appeal to a mainstream crowd. All in all, it's an example of highly crafted pop with touches of heartfelt blue-eyed soul. There are references to Caribbean, reggae, soul, and rock music styles. There is nothing really unusual or outstanding about this effort, but conversely, there is nothing objectionable about it either. Those who are already fans will probably appreciate it most.


Track Listing: 1. Different Light; 2. Cigano (For the Gypsies); 3. Take It To The Final Hour; 4. Why Can't We Live Together; 5. Domingo Morning; 6. Now That You're Alive; 7. Bully; 8. Phoenix Rising; 9. Horizon; 10. Walking On; 11. Silvia (Who Is She?)

Personnel: Steve Winwood: Vocals and Hammond Organ; Jose Piresde Almeida Neto: Guitar; Walfredo Reyes Jr.: Drums; Karl Vanden Bossche: Congas; Richard Bailey: Timbales; Karl Denson: Sax and Flute

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Sci Fidelity Records / Knowledge Base | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Umbrella Weather CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Born In An Urban Ruin CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs) CD/LP/Track Review Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 24, 2017
Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "A Kenton Celebration" CD/LP/Track Review A Kenton Celebration
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "The Three Voices" CD/LP/Track Review The Three Voices
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 19, 2016
Read "Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Duo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 20, 2016
Read "Oblique Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review Oblique Mirrors
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 9, 2016
Read "Positive Changes" CD/LP/Track Review Positive Changes
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 29, 2016
Read "Free for One" CD/LP/Track Review Free for One
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 31, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!