After three nonet albums, Jim Cifelli has moved away from his "little big band" in order to get into another groove. He does this on Groove Station with a septet, a change of instrumentation, and a clear idea of the direction he is headed. That direction is funk, and while the grooves reverberate with the pulse, he takes time out to balance the throb with quieter tunes that generate a heat of their own.
Cifelli composed and arranged the tunes on this recording. His use of instruments is adept, giving the songs character and depth. He churns it out right from the get-go on the pronounced funk of "Groove Station,"? where the bass of Mike Leslie and the drums of Ray Marchica kick in and lay the carpet for the horns, with Cifelli jabbing and pushing the edges on the trumpet. Dan Cipriano has his say on the tenor, but the spiff and the whorl come from the organ of Will Boulware before Dave Phelps cuts a swath on the guitar. A more open but nonetheless beckoning moment finds the blues floating into "You Better Believe It,"? with Cifelli etching them deeper and Phelps adding notes that are clean, precise and elevating. A deeper cut of the blues surfaces on "Long Time Comin',"? a slow, grooving scorcher that packs a weighty punch
There's a different ambit on "Sertão,"? the flavour of the Brazilian rhythm consuming, the lyrical quality well defined in the ensemble lines of the horns. The soloists take varied approaches, Boulware opening the melody and exploring the terrain by adding some pleasant hues along the way before Cifelli takes a pungent ride on the flugelhorn.
Track Listing: Groove Station, You Better Believe It, Time Out, Chaotica, Young Dan, Sertao, Long time Comin', Old School
Personnel: Jim Cifelli--trumpet, flugelhorn; Dan Cipriano--alto and tenor saxophones; Joel Frahm--sprano saxophone on "Chaotica"; Dave Phelps--guitar; Will Boulware--keyboards; Mike Leslie--bass; Ray Marcica--drums
The first record I bought was Miles Smiles. Having been a drummer since age two, hearing a young Tony Williams opened up so many possibilities for a 14 year old church drummer. My life changed that day and I've never looked back!