All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

174

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

Todd S. Jenkins By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: Live at the Baked Potato, Volume 2 | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Tone Center

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To CD/LP/Track Review
You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 24, 2018
Read We Out Here CD/LP/Track Review
We Out Here
by Chris May
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Best of the Bootlegs 2017 CD/LP/Track Review
Best of the Bootlegs 2017
by Doug Collette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read The Asylum Years CD/LP/Track Review
The Asylum Years
by Doug Collette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Solo Contra CD/LP/Track Review
Solo Contra
by Daniel Barbiero
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Ellipse CD/LP/Track Review
Ellipse
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 23, 2018
Read "Déjà Vu" CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "Today" CD/LP/Track Review Today
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 2, 2017
Read "Blues I Felt" CD/LP/Track Review Blues I Felt
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 15, 2017
Read "The Great Nostalgist" CD/LP/Track Review The Great Nostalgist
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 29, 2017
Read "Anniversary Package; Lab 2017" CD/LP/Track Review Anniversary Package; Lab 2017
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 24, 2017
Read "Sopranoville: New Works for the Prepared and Non-Prepared Saxophone" CD/LP/Track Review Sopranoville: New Works for the Prepared and Non-Prepared...
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 13, 2017