4

Dave Stryker: Eight Track

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Stryker: Eight Track On Eight Track, New York-based guitarist Dave Stryker's quartet takes the listener back some forty years or so to a time when there actually were eight-track tape players, relics on which Stryker listened to jazz and popular tunes of the day, several of which are reanimated on this tasteful and smoothly swinging album. Some of these songs have shown remarkable staying power, and Stryker and his colleagues—organist Jared Gold, drummer McClenty Hunter, guest vibraphonist Stefon Harris—prove why that is so, enclosing each of them in a jazz-centered milieu that adds to their natural buoyancy and charm.

In such capable hands, vintage classics like "Wichita Lineman," "Aquarius," "Never My Love," "(I'd Like to) Make It with You," "Never Can Say Goodbye" and the others have arguably never sounded better; at the very least they've never swung quite as hard or, in the case of "Never My Love," been given more tender loving care. While Stryker's mellow tone and clean single-note runs lend themselves well to ballads, he can sprint with abandon when the occasion demands, while Harris is an adroit and resourceful soloist at any and all tempos, easily enhancing every number and never once striking a false note. Gold and Hunter, for their part, are paragons of purposeful support and rhythmic stamina who keep the pilot light on high while giving Stryker and Harris all the sustenance and space they need.

The studio session opens with "I'll Be Around" (not the Alec Wilder standard but another '70s theme by The Spinners) and keeps the nostalgia flowing with a medley of Curtis Mayfield's "Pusherman / Superfly" before moving on to Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman," "Aquarius" (from the Broadway musical Hair), The Association's "Never My Love" and Stevie Wonder's "Superwoman." The Jackson family scored a big hit with "Make It with You," Pink Floyd with "Money." The album closes with "That's the Way of the World," an easygoing anthem by Earth, Wind and Fire.

It's good to hear these songs, which have stood the test of time, in a present-day context, especially one whose centerpiece is modern jazz. Stryker's quartet takes that concept and runs with it, injecting new life into venerable themes whose best days, some would argue, were behind them. While that opinion may carry some weight, it is clearly not the case here, as Stryker and Co. make them sparkle even more brightly than they once did on those eight-track tape players.

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.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Strikezone Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Innate CD/LP/Track Review Innate
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 29, 2017
Read The Seasons CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Planets + Persona CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 29, 2017
Read avantNOIR CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Elegy" CD/LP/Track Review Elegy
by John Kelman
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "Voyage Home" CD/LP/Track Review Voyage Home
by Edward Blanco
Published: July 8, 2016
Read "Groove Legacy" CD/LP/Track Review Groove Legacy
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 8, 2016
Read "Elevation" CD/LP/Track Review Elevation
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "Beguiled" CD/LP/Track Review Beguiled
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Rub Out The Word" CD/LP/Track Review Rub Out The Word
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!