Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

5

Dave Stryker: Eight Track

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
A thoughtfully developed theme or concept for a recording is an underutilized dimension that can add creative depth to a project. Guitarist Dave Stryker nests several themes into Eight Track, his follow-up to his well-received Blue to the Bone IV (Steeplechase, 2012). Eight Track is the guitarist's tip-of- his-hat to the classic AM pop tunes of the 1970s, tunes often heard playing on a car eight-track stereo system. These are songs from the pre-Disco '70s, when a certain sophisticated innocence existed and was dispensed in discreet, three-minute packets of quantum sonic joy. While AOR-FM stations were spinning full LP sides of Led Zeppelin and Allman Brothers, the AM stations were still focusing on the Top 40 fare that would become antique as the '80s turned into the '90s. This nascent nostalgia adds to the richness of Stryker's project

For the ten pop classics included on the album, Stryker uses his regular organ trio partners, Jared Gold and drummer McClenty Hunter supplemented with vibraphonist Stefon Harris. The result is an almost fat-free (i.e., greaseless) performance that is, at once, graceful and swinging. The disc swings off with the Spinner's 1972 single, "I'll Be Around." Stryker establishes his clean round guitar sound early and it mixes well with Harris' soft vibraphone tone, transforming the light R&B anthem into a rolicking jump blues. While this does not establish Stryker's transformative method on the disc, it does set down the refined sonic environment.

Stryker put the polish to Curtis Mayfield's "Pusherman/Superfly" medley, rendering the funk pieces smooth on the edges. Against this accompaniment, Stryker solos with funky authority and confidence. Gold cranks the grease only enough to encourage Harris into his best and bluesy Milt Jackson. Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman" is given a lilting waltz treatment overwhich Stryker plays single notes peppered with octaves a la Wes Montgomery . "Aquarius" and "Never My Love" rub against each other, producing a warmth that is familiar and secure. If a song is out of place here, it is Pink Floyd's "Money," which is edgier by a half placed against the Jackson Five's "Never Can Say Goodbye" or Bread's "Make it With You." Nevertheless, "Money" is a standout that recalls Booker T. and The MGs more than Dark Side of the Moon (Harvest, 1973).

Stryker's recordings are always hardy and reliable projects, but all of the stars line up for Eight Track. It has a perfect appeal to the middle to late Baby Boomers who came of age listening to this music. And we all know that is the best music ever produced.

Track Listing: I'll Be Around; Pusherman/Superfly; Wichita Lineman; Aquarius; Never My Love; Superwoman; Never Can Say Goodbye; Make It With You; Money; That's The Way Of The World.

Personnel: Dave Stryker: guitar; Stefon Harris: vibraphone; Jared Gold: organ; McClenty Hunter: drums.

Title: Eight Track | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Strikezone Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Swinging In The Holidays CD/LP/Track Review Swinging In The Holidays
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Cycles of Animation CD/LP/Track Review Cycles of Animation
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Secret Passages CD/LP/Track Review Secret Passages
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Live At The Magic Triangle CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Magic Triangle
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Music in the Room CD/LP/Track Review Music in the Room
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2017
Read Of Light and Shadows CD/LP/Track Review Of Light and Shadows
by Phillip Woolever
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "Putting Off Death" CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "On Hollywood Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk" CD/LP/Track Review Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 29, 2017
Read "Triangulum" CD/LP/Track Review Triangulum
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 20, 2017
Read "Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends" CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Bitter Almonds" CD/LP/Track Review Bitter Almonds
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 25, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!