by Michael P. Gladstone
I'm not quite sure if I could label Groove Station as a jazz album without an asterisk. If we're talking about the Paul Shaffer Band on CBS or the Max Weinberg Band on NBC servicing the musical needs of the Letterman/Conan O'Brien shows, then you'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect from Jim Cifelli's latest album. After having released three well-received little big band" efforts by his New York Nonet, Cifelli opens another musical door for the ...read more
by Jim Santella
Oh yeah. Just let yourself go.
This one carries you away with a solid rhythmic groove that flows naturally from ancient springs somewhere up above. Drinking from these waters will definitely extend your life far beyond the family doctor's expectations.
With Groove Station, trumpeter Cifelli brings his mellow sound around for a session of fun and excitement. The quiet soul of Eddie Harris and the rollicking characteristic backbeat of James Brown provide natural influences for this ...read more
by Jerry D'Souza
After three nonet albums, Jim Cifelli has moved away from his little big band" in order to get into another groove. He does this on Groove Station with a septet, a change of instrumentation, and a clear idea of the direction he is headed. That direction is funk, and while the grooves reverberate with the pulse, he takes time out to balance the throb with quieter tunes that generate a heat of their own.
Cifelli composed and arranged ...read more
by John Kelman
With three highly-acclaimed nonet albums to his name, trumpeter Jim Cifelli switches gears for his fourth album, the aptly-titled Groove Station. While soul and R&B grooves suffuse the disc, there is no doubt that Cifelli and his sextet come from a jazz sensibility.
With a collective résumé that includes work with Wilson Pickett, Spencer Davis, James Brown, Little Richard, and the Blues Brothers, Cifelli's group clearly has the background and responsiveness to tackle this programme of his compositions (with the ...read more
by Dan McClenaghan
The funk/groove sound: it seems like you shouldn't have to say too much about it. It's tight, in the pocket; it's good time music, not falling into the cerebral listening" category; done well, it's a hell of a lot of fun...It's done exceptionally well on Groove Station , where trumpeter Jim Cifelli tries on a groove suit for his latest release. And it proves itself a sleek fit for him.The leader's main claim to fame is ...read more
by Jerry D'Souza
Jim Cifelli has gathered together a fine band of musicians for this third outing with his nonet. The tunes, almost all originals, hold up pretty well too. The charts make for clean ensemble lines and leave room for the soloists to capture and extend upon the essence of the melody. There are a couple of exceptions. “What Is this Thing Called Love” soft-shuffles across and does not develop ideas convincingly. However, Barbara Cifelli is bold and warm on the baritone, ...read more
by Jim Santella
Arranging for nonet is a lot like arranging for big band. You’ve got all the elements, but you miss out on the doubling. Instead of power and some anonymous hard blowing, you get a balanced approach that swings lightly and caresses each melody. Jim Cifelli’s nonet arrangements are patterned after those of big band leaders Gil Evans, Thad Jones and Oliver Nelson. Every voice matters. The keenly crafted charts allow you to understand what the alto flute is doing while ...read more