188

Steve Smith and Buddy's Buddies: Steve Smith and Buddy's Buddies

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
Drummer Steve Smith, of Journey and Steps Ahead fame, leads a quintet featuring Buddy Rich alumni through a set of jazz charts. Coming from 80s rock and fusion, Smith tends toward flash and heavy-handedness (like Rich himself, some would say). Add Anthony Jackson on electric bass and you have a rhythm section that sounds like what it is: fusion cats trying to swing. Tenor man Steve Marcus, altoist Andy Fusco, and pianist Lee Musiker, respectable soloists all, sound a little hampered under these circumstances.

The high-octane numbers include Horace Silver’s "Nutville," Sonny Rollins’s "Airegin," Coltrane’s "Moment’s Notice," and Sammy Nestico’s "Ya Gotta Try." The energy is all there, but it just doesn’t swing as it would with a straight-ahead rhythm section. Missing is the light touch that distinguishes even the most burning swing. "Moment’s Notice" comes closest to succeeding—the soloists handle the difficult tune well and the head arrangement contains a few surprises.

"You Stepped Out of a Dream" and "Cool" (from West Side Story) are decent trio features for Fusco’s alto and Musiker’s piano, respectively. "Norwegian Wood," by The Beatles, is a Coltrane rip-off. "New Blues," a slower minor-key swing tune, puts the rhythm section in a better light. And Michel LeGrand’s "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" features fine tenor work by Marcus, who manages to transcend to the cocktail-hour pleasantness of the arrangement.

| Record Label: Tone Center | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read On A Monday Evening CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read Soulmation CD/LP/Track Review Soulmation
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 22, 2017
Read Feather CD/LP/Track Review Feather
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read Lookin' East CD/LP/Track Review Lookin' East
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 22, 2017
Read The Voice of Robert Desnos CD/LP/Track Review The Voice of Robert Desnos
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 22, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "This Is The Uplifting Part" CD/LP/Track Review This Is The Uplifting Part
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "In Love With" CD/LP/Track Review In Love With
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: July 25, 2016
Read "Perfectly Out Of Place" CD/LP/Track Review Perfectly Out Of Place
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 12, 2016
Read "New York Connections" CD/LP/Track Review New York Connections
by David A. Orthmann
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "Ryan Keberle & Catharsis: Azul Infinito" CD/LP/Track Review Ryan Keberle & Catharsis: Azul Infinito
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 17, 2016
Read "Happy Madness" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Madness
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 7, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!