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Dave Stryker: Prime


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Dave Stryker: Prime
Guitarist Dave Stryker, a ubiquitous presence on the New York scene (and elsewhere) for more than three decades as a leader or sideman, is also a prolific recording artist with more than 35 albums under his belt (and many more than that as member of various ensembles) in formats ranging from big band to trio. On Prime, he opts for the smaller arrangement, employing his long-time working group (Jared Gold, organ; McClenty Hunter, drums) to perform eight of Stryker's engaging compositions and one standard, the melancholy "I Should Care."

From the opening measures of the album's fast-moving title song, Stryker shows that, at age 65, he is as sharp and nimble- fingered as ever, skipping handily through the lightning-swift changes and setting the stage for vigorous statements by Gold and Hunter. Having made his point, Stryker turns next to the blues, proving on the enchanting "Lockdown" that he is no less comfortable at a more unhurried tempo, as he does again on the shuffling "Captain Jack," which follows.

"Hope" is an unhurried charmer with an earnest Latin beat, "As We Were" an ambrosial ballad on which Gold and Stryker are at their rhapsodic best with McClenty lending sure-handed support on brushes. "Mac," set in a handsome walking groove, leads to the melodious "I Should Care," which is without a doubt one of the session's several highlights, as is the buoyantly rhythmic "Deep," which follows. Stryker saves another surprise for last, as "Dude's Lounge" opens as a seductive ballad before assuming a funkier but no less engaging persona.

As organ trios go, Stryker's is first-class, thanks to his special talents and those of Gold and McClenty. Prime is far more than background music to be played while the mind is otherwise engaged. It is serious jazz, ably performed by three masters of the genre, and deserves to be considered on those terms.

Track Listing

Prime; Lockdown; Captain Jack; Hope; As We Were; Mac; I Should Care; Deep; Dude’s Lounge.


Jared Gold
organ, Hammond B3

Album information

Title: Prime | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Strikezone Records

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