I'm willing to concede that Rik Emmett, who once anchored the rock trio Triumph, is a talented picker with a precise, clean sound. What his Swing Shift lacks is any trace of originality or true inspiration. Emmett and his band, the Open House Collective, breeze through 12 original compositions (now there's an oxymoron) that borrow heavily from just about every major guitarist you've ever heard." Way Cool" reeks of George Benson, "Santa Fe Horizon" is warmed over Metheny and Gladhands sounds like a Chet Atkins hand me down. Swing Shift hits rock bottom with Emmett's hokey, embarrassingly sentimental, vocal track "One Look". Yechh! A feeble entry into the smooth jazz, swing revival sweepstakes. Sorry Rik, but I think this one is destined for the delete bin. 2-4 stars.
I love jazz because it's sophisticated, international, atmospheric yet free, cool and warm.
I was first exposed to jazz through the sultry voice and flawless swing of my mother.
I met Mark Murphy, David Linx, Kurt Elling, and Youn Sun Nah.
The best show I ever attended was Youn Sun Nah in Paris.
The first jazz record I bought was Native Dancer by Wayne Shorter and Milton Nascimento
My advice to new listeners: open your mind and your ears, forget about structure, feel the textures.
Go see live music and keep buying CDs!