174

Jeff Richman & Friends: Live at the Baked Potato, Volume 2

Todd S. Jenkins By

Sign in to view read count
Jeff Richman & Friends: Live at the Baked Potato, Volume 2 The brotherhood of L.A. fusion’s finest, Volume Two. The first collection of live recordings by guitarist Jeff Richman and compadres, taped at the Baked Potato in Hollywood, was issued by Tone Center in March 2001 and reviewed here in June. This second compendium of hot jazz-rock jams is well up to par with the first batch, certainly more than mere studio floor-sweepings.

As with Volume 1, Richman is the sole constant here. He’s surrounded by different jazz buddies on each track, making for some intriguing combinations that usually work out quite well. There is more of a straight-ahead jazz vibe on this release than the prior fuse-fest. And while the first disc was filled with originals, this volume has some real surprises.

Perhaps the most unusual inclusion is Ferde Grofè’s “On The Trail”, which you old-time Disney fans may recognize as part of his “Grand Canyon Suite” and a staple of early Disney TV. Pianist Russell Ferrante takes the reins and transforms this quintessential cowboy anthem into a sweet, swingin’ cool jazz meditation. Richman, bassist Jimmy Earl and drummer Gregg Bissonette do their part in spades to change the whole face of the tune. Magical and totally captivating. The Gershwin Brothers’ “I Got Rhythm” is done in a pretty straight manner by the trio of Richman, Jimmy Haslip and Danny Gottlieb, all of whom exhibit fine taste in jazz interpretation. Jan Hammer’s “Star Cycle”, conversely, is hot, sweaty, and mired deep in a funk miasma. Richman’s wah-tone is reflective of electric Miles, Brandon Fields simply burns, and Jeff Babko pumps out mega-soul on the piano.

The three original works aren’t quite as consistently ear-catching, but all have their moments. Richman’s spacious “Kamaroon” features sinuous soprano from Steve Tavaglione and wire-taut basslines from Abe Laboriel. “Let This Be The One” begins with pretty strummed chords that melt into a tender, blue melody. Trumpeter Jeff Beal fronts his own “Leap Of Faith”, his resonant tone surging and ebbing like a strong tide over the rhythmic drive of Earl and drummer Tom Brechtlein. Beal and Richman really sell the Middle Eastern flavor that emerges a couple of minutes in. All in all, this disc offers up even more solid evidence that fusion is back with a vengeance. Highly recommended, along with Volume 1.


Track Listing: Kamaroon; On The Trail; Leap Of Faith; Let This Be The One; Star Cycle; I Got Rhythm.

Personnel: [Collective:] Jeff Richman (all tracks), guitars; Steve Tavaglione (#1), soprano sax; Brandon Fields (#5), tenor sax; Jeff Beal (#3), trumpet; Abraham Laboriel (#1, 4), Jimmy Earl (#2, 3), Tom Kennedy (#5), Jimmy Haslip (#6), electric bass; Peter Wolf (#4), Jeff Babko (#5), keyboards; Russell Ferrante (#2), piano; Vinnie Colaiuta (#1), Gregg Bissonette (#2), Tom Brechtlein (#3), Dave Weckl (#4), Simon Phillips (#5), Danny Gottlieb (#6), drums.

| Record Label: Tone Center | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Argonautica" CD/LP/Track Review Argonautica
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 8, 2016
Read "Everyone Is Everyone Else" CD/LP/Track Review Everyone Is Everyone Else
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Transcience" CD/LP/Track Review Transcience
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 14, 2016
Read "Still" CD/LP/Track Review Still
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "The Volume Surrounding the Task" CD/LP/Track Review The Volume Surrounding the Task
by John Eyles
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Earth Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Earth Tones
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!