A century of jazz has brought us many different types of music, which we continue to house under one umbrella. Bassist Peter Barshay represents the central line; however, his album pushes the envelope in various directions. A part of the program is tongue-in-cheek and some of the material catches fire. When you offer smooth jazz, hip bop, and straight-ahead arrangements in the same session you’ve got the ear of many. Barshay’s title track features a sextet line-up. Other songs employ flutes and saxophones and trumpets. The ensembles range from a few to many. “Hotter” appears to be three acoustic bass tracks overdubbed, while “Don’t Ask” takes on the appearance of a big band, performing smooth, Latin dance band material. Personnel include keyboards, alto and tenor saxophones, flutes, trumpet, drums, Mike Stern’s guitar, and Barshay’s upright bass. “What Is This Thing Called Love?” employs a hip bop arrangement. “Radio Joe” has a familiar backdrop, similar to Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” It’s a smooth jazz message for the masses from trumpet, tenor sax, guitar, keyboard, drummer, and Barshay’s bottom line. “Stuff” contrasts vehemently with contemporary energy. A Hammond B-3 and sultry tenor saxophone work out of stuttering, random rhythms. Stern’s guitar blazes with a hot, leading-edge freshness and frequent, unexpected changes. Barshay also adds three adventurous solo bass pieces to the album. Recommended, this one’s not just for bass lovers. Peter Barshay covers it all.
Joshua; Pit of Fashion; Introductions; Ok, Bye Bye, Fine; Please Recall; Hotter; Radio Joe; Stuff; Don
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