Scott Adams' liner notes describe Rob Ryndak's musical perspective as arising from 'the decades'long marriage of Jazz with the tropics,' and rhythmically speaking, the point is well made. This isn't typical 'Latin Jazz' ' that is to say, there are few brassy fireworks or cascading congas overspreading the landscape ' but an insistent beat from south of the border underscores much of Ryndak's music and helps set his group apart from others who are staking a territorial claim in the area of 'light' or 'smooth' Jazz, which in many other respects this is (the exceptions are the fast'paced title track on which the industrious rhythm section bolsters flashing solos by Wunder on tenor, Lewis and Benedetti, and 'Jade,' an up'tempo groover that features Wunder's soprano and Ryndak's piano). All compositions and arrangements are Ryndak's, and he uses his reliable tendency to create appealing melodies ('Ojos Cafes Hermosos' and 'Boundless,' for example, are about as engaging as they come) as a framework on which to position his wide'ranging rhythmic canvas. Lewis, one of the Chicago area's most respected players, is somewhat under'used, but that's understandable, as this is not the sort of all'out blowing session in which he could cause sparks to fly (he does offer intrepid solos on 'Hierophany,' 'Rachel Ann' and, as mentioned earlier, 'Boundless'). Others in the cast are reliable if unassuming, and Ryndak makes his presence felt both as pianist and percussionist. This is Ryndak's second date as leader, and it shows considerable promise. Beyond that, it encompasses more than a few moments of 'boundless' Jazz that are worth hearing.
Track listing: Bouncing Back; Down and Dirty; Hierophany; Rachel Ann; Ojos Cafes Hermosos; A Dance in the Park; Boundless; Jade; When It All Comes Together; Rain Forest; Miami Getaway; Sable (56:35).
Rob Ryndak, acoustic piano, electric piano, synthesizer, percussion; Ruben Alvarez, percussion; Vince Benedetti, trombone; Paulinho Garcia, guitar; Jim Gifford, drums; Kevin Guin, electric bass; Jim Johnson, flute; Bobby Lewis, trumpet, flugelhorn; Dave Ness, electric guitar; Mike Staron, electric and acoustic bass; Steve Wunder, soprano, alto, tenor saxophones, flute.
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.