160

Ethan Mann: It's All About A Groove

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
It's All About a Groove is all about three self-effacing musicians having a fine time playing some music that burns with a cold fire, and swinging, sometimes with a fair gusto. Most of all this date is about uncomplicated, yet attractive improvisation, as a group that rarely veers far from the melody, but ventures far enough to create the right kind of buzz. Ethan Mann is a guitarist who has a lot to say in a voice that is uncompromisingly his own. But he prefers brevity to the filigreed approach, and makes statements innovatively, but succinctly. His harmonic conception relies on depth of color rather than myriad shades, and with restrained brush strokes he is able to generate a greater buzz than expected. His single note approach with some bent notes and a whisper of tremolo appears to suit the more heavy hand of Chip Crawford on the Hammond B3.

Crawford can swing with the best and while he eschews the virtuoso playing style of Jimmy Smith and Lonnie Smith, he also comes from a deeply spiritual background albeit with a lighter touch, somewhat reminiscent of Papa Joe DeFrancesco. His solo on "Stop, Look, Listen to Your Heart" best describes the fluent style, light of touch and with nuanced expression that Crawford applies with suave grace throughout the album. Of course, drummer, Greg Bandy has the funk and the groove that is the glue which holds this small unit together. It is no coincidence, then, that a phrase from the vocal on his "Woman Please" comes to characterize the entire album, as he sings how he came to write the piece in question. Bandy is an old soul who plays with fire and a great deal of dexterity. He plays with the deep sense of appealing to the rhythm of the saints, tapping out a swinging litany that accompanies his urgent prayer and sermon that he appears to preach in "Woman Please."

It's All About a Groove is one of those rare records that comes straight from—and aiming its musical missives straight at—the heart. This in itself is very rare in a day and age full of posturing and trying to be something that one is not. Three cheers for the blue notes and blue color blues here.

Track Listing: Foxy; What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life; Betcha By Golly Wow; People Make The World Go 'Round; Stop, Look, Listen To Your Heart; Woman Please; Blues For Now; The Look Of Love; Minor Steps; Easy Living; You And The Night And The Music.

Personnel: Ethan Mann: guitar; Chip Crawford: keyboards; Greg Bandy: drums.

Title: It's All About A Groove | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Heart Knows CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Jersey CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Wobbly Danse Flower CD/LP/Track Review Wobbly Danse Flower
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Carry Fire CD/LP/Track Review Carry Fire
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 22, 2017
Read A Night Walking Through Mirrors CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Barry Witherden
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jondo CD/LP/Track Review Jondo
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "Masters Of War" CD/LP/Track Review Masters Of War
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "Pocono Git-Down" CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Living Water" CD/LP/Track Review Living Water
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "The Eastcote Studios Session" CD/LP/Track Review The Eastcote Studios Session
by John Eyles
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Special Night" CD/LP/Track Review Special Night
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "My Head Is Listening" CD/LP/Track Review My Head Is Listening
by John Sharpe
Published: July 20, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.