180

Steve Rochinski: Otherwise

By

Sign in to view read count
A presence in the Northeast jazz scene, and certainly known by the students and faculty of the Berklee School Of Music, guitarist Steve Rochinski unfortunately was unable to scrape together the resources for more than a self-produced CD until recently. His "Until Further Notice" garnered the acclaim of those who heard it, but without distribution and marketing, the word about Steve Rochinski didn't spread too far his base in Boston.

His first Jardis-released CD, "A Bird In Hand," all of a sudden caught the notice of the listening public and guitar enthuasiasts. Now, Rochinski follows up with a work of varied repertoire and configurations of musicians.

The consistent element throughout Otherwise, though, is the resonance of Rochinski's sound on the archtop. Shunning electronic enhancement or even fusion- or rock-influenced sound alteration, Rochinski is true to himself when he remains within the tradition of the bop-influenced masters of the instrument like Jimmy Raney, Joe Pass or Tal Farlow, who happened to be his mentor.

Thus, Rochinski employs a rich, natural sound from his instrument, the notes clearly defined and the improvisational lines logical and focused. The opening track, Antonio Carlos Jobim's not-so-commonly-heard "God And The Devil In The Land Of The Sun," sets up a surging vamp and engaging harmonic lines between Rochinski and pianist Chip Stephens. As a result, it could have evolved into a soundscape type of tableau as the musicians eventually disconnect and go free. Instead, Rochinski remains intent on plumbing the richness of the tune while making a point about its percussive insistence. It wasn't necessary to become an exercise in free improvisation to make the statement Rochinski wanted.

The contrast with the next track, Rochinski's tune "The Thrill Of It All," is striking, for singer Donna McElroy joins in to deliver the words on a combination torch song/ballad. After a meditative introduction, the song turns into straight-ahead swing, and its repeated cycle of fourths eventually fades out. While much is made in the liner notes to compare McElroy to Ella Fitzgerald, I don't hear the same girlish wisdom. Rather, McElroy is a fine singer in her own right with a sure sense of swing implicit in her voice.

Rochinski then breaks down Barney Kessel's "Swedish Pastry" and Duke Ellington's "I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart" in a duo with bassist Jim Stinnett, all the more to emphasize their relaxed counterpoint and give-and-take. As the penultimate, and thus attention-getting, medley, "Continuation On An Afterthought" and "Love Song" pay tribute to yet another of Rochinski's influences, Carl Kress. Rochinski takes it alone, and the tunes, three minutes apiece, allow for comfortable development and conclusion.

As if to prove their ability to swing hard, the quartet ends Otherwise with an energetic take on "Almost Like Being In Love." Even at its elevated tempo, the group-and especially Stephens—adds character and improvisational fire throughout the tune.

A matured guitarist with full command of his instrument and musical integrity, Steve Rochinski has released an album that no doubt is a reflection of his wide-ranging interests and too-long-unrecognized talent.


Track Listing: God And The Devil In The Land Of The Sun, The Thrill Of It All*, Swedish Pastry, I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart, Summer Night, I'm All Smiles, All The Shirts I Own, Continuation On An Afterthought, Love Song, Almost Like Being In Love

Personnel: Steve Rochinski, guitar; Chip Stephens, piano; Joe Hunt, drums; Jim Stinnett, bass; Donna McElroy, vocal*

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Jardis Music


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Tal Farlow Tal Farlow
guitar
Mike Reed Mike Reed
drums
Bill Mays Bill Mays
piano
Jimmy Raney Jimmy Raney
guitar, electric
Steve Grover Steve Grover
drums
Gary Bruno Gary Bruno
guitar
Mel Martin Mel Martin
saxophone
Jack Walrath Jack Walrath
trumpet
Trent Austin Trent Austin
trumpet
Mark Boling Mark Boling
guitar

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "The Brothers Brown:  Dusty Road" CD/LP/Track Review The Brothers Brown: Dusty Road
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "Simplicity" CD/LP/Track Review Simplicity
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 6, 2016
Read "Verde" CD/LP/Track Review Verde
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "Tiptoe" CD/LP/Track Review Tiptoe
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Some Other Time" CD/LP/Track Review Some Other Time
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "Message In Motion" CD/LP/Track Review Message In Motion
by David A. Orthmann
Published: October 27, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!