138

DaveStryker: Shades of Miles

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Over the course of some dozen SteepleChase sides guitarist Dave Stryker has presented himself in various forums that have illustrated his diversity and flexibility as a musician. However, Shades of Miles has to be his most radical departure while simultaneously being possibly his greatest work to date. The premise is actually very simple, yet inspired. Instead of registering the umpteenth Miles tribute to utilize as a basis the mid-‘60s combo of Herbie, Wayne, Ron, and Tony, Stryker has opted to explore the implications of Davis’ Bitches Brew and In a Silent Way period.

Gathering a large ensemble with two saxophonists and two keyboardists, the opening “Topaz” definitely speaks in shades of In a Silent Way, with its slow bass vamp and wash of organ and Fender Rhodes. “Sienna” is a bit more funky, hinting a bit at Jack Johnson. Lynch’s muted trumpet again recalls a certain mood but never disintegrates into a copy of Davis’ solo style. The trumpeter’s wafting chant then introduces us to “Orchid,” a delicate waltz that finds Stryker at his mellow best. “Jade” has a decided Bitches Brew flair to it, with repeated horn riffs backing Stryker’s processed solo, drummer Billy Hart and percussionist Manolo Badrena serving up a complex and tasty undercurrent throughout. No surprise here, “Cobalt” is nothing but the blues, Stryker bending those strings and getting dirty. Finally, Lynch contributes the funky strut that is “Fuchsia,” complete with an electrified horn and a backing line of electric bass and bass clarinet.

Besides Lynch and Stryker, the other main soloists are Billy Drewes and Steve Slagle. The entire ensemble hits a stride throughout that is without reproach. The buzz surrounding the release of Shades of Miles was certainly justified as it is as strong a statement from Stryker as any he has made in the past. Furthermore, its uniqueness will keep it sounding fresh for many more years to come.


Track Listing: Topaz, Sienna, Orchid, Jade, Cobalt, Fuchsia

Personnel: Dave Stryker- guitar; Brian Lynch- trumpet; Steve Slagle- soprano & alto saxophone; Billy Drewes- tenor & soprano saxophone, bass clarinet; Marc Copland- Fender Rhodes, Larry Goldings- organ & Fender Rhodes, Terry Burns- electric bass, Billy Hart- drums, Manolo Badrena- percussion

| Record Label: SteepleChase Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis" CD/LP/Track Review Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "What's Wrong" CD/LP/Track Review What's Wrong
by John Sharpe
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Live In Brooklyn" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Light Shines In" CD/LP/Track Review Light Shines In
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Serpentines" CD/LP/Track Review Serpentines
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!