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Articles | Stream | Future

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Stryker: Strykin’ Ahead

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Having just turned sixty this year, it's still quite remarkable that Dave Stryker--a musician who, unfortunately and unfairly, fits into the category of “one of the best guitarists most have never heard"--has released well over thirty albums as a leader/co-leader (including his Stryker/Slagle Band, with saxophonist Steve Slagle, and Latin-informed Trio Mundo) in a little more than a quarter century. This, of course, comes after he cut his teeth, beginning in the mid-'80s and when the guitarist was in his ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Stryker: Strykin’ Ahead

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After a series of albums organized around a theme--Messin' With Mr. T (Strikezone Records, 2015) was dedicated to his former employer, saxophonist Stanley Turrentine; Eight Track II (Strikezone Records, 2016) revisited classic '70s pop tunes--guitarist Dave Stryker returns to his long-standing practice of presenting a program of originals and jazz standards. The band is the same as the one on last year's Eight Track II: his working trio of organist Jared Gold and drummer McClenty Hunter, augmented by vibraphonist Steve ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Stryker: Strykin’ Ahead

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Hot on the heels of his 2016 release, the soul and rock infused Eight Track II comes Dave Stryker's punningly titled Strykin' Ahead with a mix of standards and Stryker originals. Following the lively opener, “Shadowboxing," a Stryker original, comes a rather more sedate version of Wayne Shorter's “Footprints" followed by Stryker's “New You" in which both Steve Nelson and Jared Gold provide imaginative, swinging solos backed by McClenty Hunter's solid drumming. A dreamy interpretation of Billy Strayhorns “Passion Flower" ...

IN PICTURES

Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival 2017

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Celebrating it's 40th anniversary the 2017 Freihofer Saratoga Jazz Festival taking place at Saratoga's Performing Arts center in Saratoga Springs N.Y June 24th and 25th, had a great lineup of musicians performing a wide range of music for everyone's listening pleasure. Musicians who came to join the celebration included Jean-Luc Ponty, Cecile McLorin Salvant and the Gipsy Kings just to name a few. I have included several photos that captured the spirit and sounds of this venerable festival.

LIVE REVIEWS

Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival 2017

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Saratoga Performing Arts Center Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival Saratoga Springs, NY June 24-25, 2017 Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival celebrated its 40th anniversary this year and it was done in fine fashion. Acts from the very first festival in 1978 (A George Wein creation) appeared, as well as young up-and-coming artists. The latter has become a staple of the festival. Producer Danny Melnick (who worked for Wein for many years) goes out of his way to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Stryker: Eight Track II

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Guitarist Dave Stryker had such a good time covering classic '70s pop tunes on Eight Track (Strikezone Records, 2014) that he recorded a second installment. He is once again joined by his regular trio (organist Jared Gold and drummer McClenty Hunter), but with a different guest vibraphonist. That chair is taken by Steve Nelson, best known as a longtime member of bassist/composer Dave Holland's groups. The organ trio approach harks back to Stryker's gig with funky organist Jack McDuff early ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Stryker: Eight Track II

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Eight Track II, Dave Stryker's twenty-seventh album as a leader, could be subtitled “Stryker Strikes Again," as it is a pleasing sequel to 2014's well-received Eight Track, on which the guitarist's working trio and guest vibraphonist Stefon Harris revisited pop songs from the '70s and rearranged them in a hip new groove. Eight Track II offers more of the same with the trio (Stryker, organist Jared Gold, drummer McClenty Hunter) allied this time with the similarly proficient vibraphonist Steve Nelson, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Stryker: Eight Track II

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Sequels are a tricky business, often playing to expectations and hewing close to the formula(s) that helped spawn them in the first place. For many, for those very reasons, they're automatically viewed as a slam dunk, aiding in the creation and extension of a franchise entertainment experience for general audiences that went in hard for the original; for critics, however, they're usually a losing bet. Few who wield the pen or keyboard with a critical gaze look kindly upon these ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Stryker/Slagle Band Expanded: Routes

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Guitarist Dave Stryker and saxophonist Steve Slagle met the night Stryker auditioned for organist Jack McDuff when he first moved to New York, and they have co-led the Stryker/Slagle Band since 2003. Until now the group has always been a quartet (with occasional guests), but with the addition of keyboards and three horns it is definitely “expanded." Both men have experience playing with horns, with arranger Slagle having been a member of big bands like Carla Bley's, Charlie Haden's Liberation ...


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