Bob Sneider & Paul Hofmann: Interconnection

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Bob Sneider & Paul Hofmann: Interconnection Guitar/piano duets are a rarity, if only because there is often an inherent difficulty in finding a way to work together without stepping on each others’ toes. Notable exceptions, of course, include records with Bill Evans and Jim Hall; Pat Martino and Gil Goldstein; and, in more recent years, Bill Frisell and Fred Hersch. Now add to that list Interconnection , which teams up guitarist Bob Sneider and pianist Paul Hofmann in a programme that proves that good ears and a common purpose can make this rarity of a combination work without difficulty.

Sneider, a veteran of Chuck Mangione’s band, with a style that is already distinguishing itself in the mainstream vernacular, has a dry, acoustic tone that is reminiscent of Jim Hall, but slightly less muted. Hofmann, who has performed with Kevin Mahogany, comes from the Evans/Jarrett/Corea school, but has an almost encyclopaedic knowledge that matches Sneider’s clear understanding of jazz history, as they tackle, in addition to a large number of original compositions, pieces by Ellington, Jobim and Gershwin.

While the more traditional leanings of their cover material demonstrate a solid grounding in their roots, it is the original material that really shines on this release. Hofmann’s “Jazz Suite for Guitar and Piano” is especially intriguing, as it opens up with “A Good Book,” a piece that would fit comfortably in the Chick Corea/Gary Burton songbook; bright, outgoing and swinging, it is a fine beginning. Hofmann’s themes are as elliptical as some of Corea’s best, and the entire suite demonstrates the ability of the duo to constantly and seamlessly alternate roles, from that of accompanist to that of soloist. Sneider may well be a closet bassist, as he sometimes works his way into generating walking bass lines to support Hoffman’s solos.

“Rumblin’” is a mid-tempo blues where Sneider shows his bop chops and broad intervallic jumps. “Scooby,” another Sneider composition, “is a tender piece, somehow recalling Evans’ “Waltz for Debby,” although there is little similar other than it being a jazz waltz. “A Place to Hide,” a Hofmann composition, features the kind of melodic invention that, again, owes something to Corea.

Throughout, the interplay demonstrated by Sneider and Hofmann gives credence to the album’s title. The two are so relaxed together, so in each other’s pocket that they make the most convoluted motifs sound effortless. A fine effort all-around, and one which highlights their formidable strength as composers as much as performers, Interconnection is a recording that ought to bring more well-deserved attention to both Sneider and Hofmann.

Visit Bob Sneider , Paul Hofmann and Sons of Sound on the web.

Track Listing: Jazz Suite for Guitar and Piano: A Good Book, Another Cup of Tea, Azure Dreams, Heart of the Matter; Mood Indigo; Rumblin'; Desafinado; Scooby; A Place to Hide; Bidin' My Time; Benjamin; Mini Me; This Town

Personnel: Bob Sneider (guitar), Paul Hofmann (piano)

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Sons of Sound | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


  • High Peaks
    High Peaks
    Paul Hofmann & Bob Sneider
    Serve & Volley
  • Black Dahlia
    Black Dahlia
    Bob Sneider & Joe Locke Film Noir Project
    Nocturne For Ava
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Bill Evans Bill Evans
Charlie Parker Charlie Parker
sax, alto
Stan Getz Stan Getz
sax, tenor
Jimmy Smith Jimmy Smith
organ, Hammond B3
Barney Kessel Barney Kessel
guitar, electric
Bud Powell Bud Powell
Wynton Kelly Wynton Kelly
Milt Jackson Milt Jackson

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Till They Lay Me Down" CD/LP/Track Review Till They Lay Me Down
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Terre II" CD/LP/Track Review Terre II
by Tyran Grillo
Published: June 7, 2016
Read "The Unquiet Sky" CD/LP/Track Review The Unquiet Sky
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 1, 2016
Read "Layers" CD/LP/Track Review Layers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "Stick Men + David Cross: Midori" CD/LP/Track Review Stick Men + David Cross: Midori
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 28, 2016
Read "Wash My Horse In Champagne" CD/LP/Track Review Wash My Horse In Champagne
by James Nadal
Published: July 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!