If this disc is any indication of the caliber of jazz musicians in the Rochester, New York area, then it would seem that the music is in good hands around said environs. So the story goes, guitarist Bob Sneider has played an integral part in leading the nightly jam sessions that occur during the duration of each year's Rochester International Jazz Festival, and this studio date is somewhat of a homage to those sets. No stranger to the jazz scene there, Sneider's experience boasts of time spent with Chuck Mangione and a role as educator at the Eastman School of Music. His partners here are also well-established artists in their own right, namely drummer Mike Melito and bassist Phil Flanigan.
Not an oft-used format in jazz, this guitar trio makes the most out of a standards-based repertoire. Be it the swing of "All Through the Night or the bossa groove of "Dream Dancing, Sneider possesses a dark and romantic sound, utilizing rich harmonies and an integrated mix of single note runs and chunky chords. Flanigan offers solid support and his own solo statements are intelligent and succinct. As for Melito's drumming, he's the perfect choice for this type of thing in that his flexibility and drive keeps things interesting throughout.
On roughly half of the eleven selections, a few special guests are added to the trio. "You and the Night and the Music and "Marilyn's Dilemma get the hard bop treatment, with trumpeter John Sneider and tenor saxophonist John Nugent stepping into the role of the front line. It's alto man Vincent Herring who makes the most of his cameo, however, blowing some spicy lines on Jackie McLean's "Little Melonae. Pianist David Hazeltine makes it a quartet for "Milestones and Wes Montgomery's "Jingles, the latter being one of the highlights of the disc, not surprising considering the pianist's affection for Buddy Montgomery and Sneider's technical facility as a guitarist.
Steeped in the tradition, All Through the Night bodes well for this superb Rochester-based rhythm section and certainly any soloist in the area could do well to make the scene with this threesome. As for the listener, lovers of the vintage Blue Note sound of the 1950s will find much to enjoy here.
All Through the Night, Milestones, Dream Dancing, You and the Night and the Music; Baby Won
Bob Sneider: guitar; Phil Flanigan: bass; Mike Melito: drums; Vincent Herring: alto saxophone (8, 10); John Sneider: trumpet (4, 9); John Nugent: tenor saxophone (4, 9); David Hazeltine: piano (2, 6).
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