Greg Howard's smooth jazz session features saxophone melodies, groove rhythms, and powerful electronic effects. The Chapman Stick, a 10-stringed electric instrument, allows the artist to use both hands, each with a tapping motion. Howard assumes the role of fusion guitarist. Along with Hubert Heeringa's ethereal soprano saxophone lines, he provides a contemporary front line that emphasizes pleasant harmony. Amplified sounds blend across the horizon while bass and drums provide varied textures. Vocal samples add to the fun. From world beat fusion to new age mixtures, Howard's band presents an eclectic program.
"The Offering" wanders off into avant-garde territory. Improvising with creative energy, the artists move toward dramatic tension. Several other pieces contain jazz tinges through their swinging rhythms and limited improvisation. Most of the session drifts through soprano saxophone landscapes which feature repetitive loops and percussive asides. "Blues for Ayman" presents a world view of jazz & blues, with multi-ethnic folkways and the infusion of a common base. It's the album's high point. Heeringa, Wolfkamp and Howard each stretch out with creative solo messages while van Olffen provides the rippled foundation. This one is an album of jazz, funk, experimental, pop and rock. Greg Howard's next one would do well to apply more "Blues for Ayman" across the board.
Track Listing: Dissent; Cross Country; The Offering; Still Water; Chrysalis; The Effect of Marco
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.