Home » Jazz Articles » Jim Cifelli: Groove Station

77

Album Review

Jim Cifelli: Groove Station

By

Sign in to view read count
Jim Cifelli: Groove Station
I'm not quite sure if I could label Groove Station as a jazz album without an asterisk. If we're talking about the Paul Shaffer Band on CBS or the Max Weinberg Band on NBC servicing the musical needs of the Letterman/Conan O'Brien shows, then you'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect from Jim Cifelli's latest album. After having released three well-received "little big band" efforts by his New York Nonet, Cifelli opens another musical door for the aptly titled Groove Station. The eight selections fall decidedly in a funk/groove setting with lots of visceral horn riffs and toe-tapping energy.

Like the musicians in the aforementioned two TV bands, the members of Cifelli's group have studio credentials as well as long resumes working in rock and R&B, although they may not have the recognizability of the Vivino Brothers, Will Lee, or Anton Fig. Only Joel Frahm, who guests on soprano sax on one track, has a significant series of recordings. Keyboardist Will Boulware recorded Harmony in 2003 with the group Will & Rainbow alongside Michael Brecker, Steve Gadd, and vocalist Phoebe Snow.

The music itself consists of all originals, save one composition by bassist Mike Leslie. There's no denying Cifelli's chops on his trumpet and flugelhorn work; the first two tracks, the title tune, and "You Better Believe It" set the tone for this album with all hands solidly in the groove. From a contemporary jazz band viewpoint, the concluding "Long Time Comin'" and "Old School" are the hardest to listen to. Guitarist Dave Phelps, who plays serviceably throughout the album, blasts off into high-powered blues/rock guitar territory. The liner notes reveal that Phelps is a "Texas blues guy," and they're not kidding. If you're a fan of Stevie Ray Vaughan, you won't be disappointed with Phelps' work on these tracks. Boulware's keyboard solo on these tracks is also a reference to the fusion age. Saxophonist Dan Cipriano does get in some keening but soulful work also.

To no one's surpise, the Cifelli band members draw upon their years of experience working with Wilson Pickett, James Brown, Rick Derringer, the Blues Brothers and many other R&B artists and rockers. Groove Station may not be what traditionalists would call jazz, but then again, how would one label Tower of Power?

Visit Jim Cifelli on the web.

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

Album information

Title: Groove Station | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Short Notice Music

Post a comment about this album


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Tags

More

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.