209

Dave Stryker: Blue to the Bone II

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Stryker: Blue to the Bone II
Considering that forty-something guitarist Dave Stryker has made over a dozen albums under his own name, leads a sharp quartet with Steve Slagle, and is in constant demand as a sideman working in the past with Stanley Turrentine, Jack McDuff, Javon Jackson, and Kevin Mahogany, you'd think he'd be practically a household name. Unfortunately that's not the case, but his first Blue to the Bone project from a few years back did seem to attract some critical plaudits and bring into the circle some added new fans. And now that the second offering in this series has just made its debut here in America, one can only hope that the good vibes just keep building.

As great as the first set was, it's without hesitation that I deem this new one a valiant leap forward. For the neophyte, the concept is really quite simple- get together a modest-sized horn section, bring a B-3 along, and write some charts that accent a "blue" point of view. But while the prior record leaned a bit more on the classic 12-bar blues form, this set offers up a colorful diversity in terms of song structure. Of course, Stryker can get down with his bad self, as he more than adequately proves on a cover of Howlin' Wolf's "Sittin' On the Top of the World."

Somehow the spicy gumbo of the Crescent City proves to be a perfect adjunct to the blues in Stryker's mind, with both originals "Mystery Street" and "Goin' To New Orleans" spurred on by Adam Nussbaum's "second line" drumming and the guitarist's processed tone, akin to a slide-steel at times. His solo spot on the former makes potent use of distortion and note bending. Balanced by an Ellington gem and a Steve Slagle original, a few tunes that have been previously recorded get a facelift too, including "Mood" and "24 For Elvin," an extended form with a modal quality to it that does indeed suggest Elvin Jones' work with the classic John Coltrane quartet.

Sharing the solo honors with Stryker and equally beguiling in the long run are trumpeter Brian Lynch, alto saxophonist Steve Slagle, pianist Bruce Barth, and drummer Adam Nussbaum. They, along with the charts and an elation that the blues almost paradoxically provide, make for an end product that is indeed greater than the sum of the parts. Now, here's waiting with baited breath for the release of Stryker's latest project inspired by Miles Davis' Bitches Brew period. Bring it on SteepleChase!

Track Listing

Rockin' In Rhythm, Goin' to New Orleans (introduction), Goin' to New Orleans, Sittin' On Top of the World, 24 For Elvin, Mystery Street, The Squeeze, Mood, Mug Shot (62:14)

Personnel

Dave Stryker- guitar, Brian Lynch- trumpet, Steve Slagle- alto sax & flute, Clark Gayton- trombone, Bob Parsons- baritone saxophone, Bruce Barth- piano & organ, Jay Anderson- bass, Adam Nussbaum- drums

Album information

Title: Blue to the Bone II | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: SteepleChase Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Sing To The World
Benito Gonzalez
Quasar-Mach
Jeffrey Morgan
Inspirations
Mindaugas Stumbras
Genealogy
CODE Quartet
First Mile
Lamb Anderson Sorgen
What are the Odds?
Dennis Winge

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.