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Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines Pastiche as "a musical, literary, or artistic composition made up from selections of different works. Potpourri. Hodgepodge." The West Coast singing trio of Sandy Cressman, Jenny Meltzer and Becky West take that definition to heart with a program that is a multicolored musical palette. They are helped in this endeavor by a relatively large number of rotating musicians. There's the hard bop sax of Norbert Stachel on "Destination Drive" mixed with a rock back beat from the drums and a sliding guitar of Jeff Massanari. African rhythms dominate on "Remember That" with Michael Spiro providing the appropriate percussive background. A touch, and a welcome one at that, of the Manhattan Transfer shows up in a bouncy "Whatever It Takes", with the Massanari guitar once again having a leading role. Throughout these talented singers engage in some ingenious harmonic invention and give and take that lifts them to a level far above the Andrew Sisters or the Chordettes of yore. Most of the tunes come from the collaborative pen of Meltzer and the multi accomplished Nic tenBroek. The only standards, Neil Heft's "Late Date", is given a surprisingly laid back reading. But this track comes the closest to straight out jazz with the trio of Michael Wolff, Peter Barshay and Vince Lateano giving a good account of themselves. The nod to the folk song comes with "When the Night"which is done a Capella. The lyrics are printed in the liner notes in the event you want to join in the vocal festivities.
Track Listing: Don't Lose Your Cool; Whatever It Takes; When Will There Be; You Hit the Spot; Only Love; Late Date; Remember That; Waiting on the Day; Destination Drive; Blackbird; When the Night
Personnel: Sandy Cressman, Jenny Meltzer, Becky West - Vocal; Nic tenBroek- Fender Rhodes/ Keyboards/Trombone; Cassio Duarte - Percussion; Bob Harsen, Vince Lateano, Celso Alberti, Paul van Wageningen, Bill Serverance - Drums; Michael Spiro - Percussion, Drum Loop; Ed Smith - Drum Loop; Marcos Silva - Keyboards; David Belove - Bass; Jeff Massanari, Ricardo Peixoto, Ed Harris - Guitar; Michael Wolff - Piano; Peter Barshay - Bass; Bob Johnson, Norbert Stachel, Greg Smith - Sax; Bill Ortiz - Trumpet; Jeff Cressman - Trombone
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.