279

Dave Stryker Quartet: Strike Up The Band

By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Stryker is a strong guitarist with an excellent back-catalog of credits to his name. While Strike Up The Band doesn't show off his full capabilities in their best light, it makes for a listenable jaunt, and a clear reminder that musicians on Stryker's level can seek out more demanding material.

The album has a definite polish: Nils Winther's production is of a very high quality, and each of the four musicians plays with a distinctive and clear sound, too. So at root, the disappointment of the album is in its material. There are no bad songs here, to be sure; but neither are there any challenges, for the listener or for the musicians. Half the tracks are constructed over the same essential textures and tempos. Although the title track is indeed different from Gershwin's original envisioning, it burns with a high energy (thanks largely to a percussive rising line on the bass) that never resolves into anything. As a result, it's hard to tell what the effect of the arrangement is supposed to be: it feels tense and a little empty at once.

Pianist Xavier Davis has a conventional style, but he relies principally on the adapted language of minor pentatonic harmony first popularized by McCoy Tyner. It's a great, full sound, but when used equally on "Airegin," "Strike Up The Band" and "Saints and Sinners," it loses some of its poignancy.

There are definitely highpoints, though. "What Is This?" makes for a quirky play on "What Is This Thing Called Love?" And "I Love You," after an urbane bass riff under the intro and melody, features an intelligent guitar solo, though not Stryker's most dynamic. Still, Stryker and his band mates are capable of more than they attempt with this outing.

Track Listing: Strike Up The Band; The Message; Airegin; I Love You; What Is This?; Peace Song; Blues Strut; Saints and Sinners.

Personnel: Dave Stryker: guitar; Andy McKee: bass; Xavier Davis: piano; Billy Hart: drums.

Title: Strike Up The Band | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: SteepleChase Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Pletter På Solen" CD/LP/Track Review Pletter På Solen
by Nick Davies
Published: June 30, 2017
Read "Saluting Sgt. Pepper" CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Another Time: The Hilversum Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "Opening Statement" CD/LP/Track Review Opening Statement
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Riser" CD/LP/Track Review Riser
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "Beauty And the Beast" CD/LP/Track Review Beauty And the Beast
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 15, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.