Rule of thumb: the amount of unadulterated Jazz substance in a CD is inversely proportional to the amount of reverb used to accentuate reeds, brass and/or rhythm. On Karla’s Fire, saxophonist Tim Eyermann sounds like he’s playing in an empty airplane hangar (empty except for his accompanists, that is). With a few exceptions, this is music for “smooth Jazz” aficionados, copiously laden with syrup but containing little nourishment for the soul. Those exceptions are “Secret Love,” on which Eyermann (alto), Hughes, Williams and Killgo choose to cook and whip up quite a tasty entrée; Eyermann’s Cannonball–inspired treatment of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia on My Mind,” which has its moments; and Luis Bonfa’s “Samba de Orpheo,” with sharp choruses by Eyermann on flute and guest guitarist Larry Coryell (neither fares as well on a schmaltzy rendition of “Manha de Carnival”). No guitarist is listed on “My Funky (pardon, Funny) Valentine,” but there is a guitar solo, which may or may not be Coryell. It could be “programmed,” as so many things are these days; that is certainly the case on Kenny Loggins’ “Now and Then,” on which soft–voiced Mary Ann Redmond makes her only appearance, accompanied by a digitally fabricated string section. There’s a market for this music, and we hope that Eyermann and his colleagues are successful in reaching it.
Track listing: Just a Thought; Karla’s Fire; Now and Then; My Funny Valentine; Secret Love; Greencastle; Samba de Orpheo*; Europa; Georgia on My Mind; Weekend Update; Manha de Carnival* (56:18).
Track Listing: Just a Thought; Karla
Personnel: Tim Eyermann- alto sax, soprano sax, C flute, alto flute, piccolo; Michael Sutcher, John Ozment, Fred Hughes- keyboards; Bill Foster, Wade Matthews- electric bass; Tom Williams- acoustic bass; Rod Gross, Keith Killgo- drums; Gail Sanchez- percussion on "Samba de Orpheo"; Larry Coryell- guitar on "Samba de Orpheo" and "Manha de Carnaval"; Rick Lillard- trombone on "My Funny Valentine" and "Weekend Update"; Mary Ann Redmond- vocal on "Now and Then".
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!