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Bob Berg, Randy Brecker, Dennis Chambers, Joey DeFrancesco: The JazzTimes

Jim Santella By

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When a tune has a catchy sound to it, the melody lingers on. Paul Bollenback, Randy Brecker, Joey DeFrancesco and Bob Berg each contribute memorable compositions to this album; compositions that catch your ear and leave you happy to hear them again. Berg placed his tune "Friday Night at the Cadillac Club" on two previous albums as well as on Dizzy Gillespie’s 1992 Rhythmstick album. The piece works. Like Brecker’s "The Ada Strut" and Eddie Harris’ "Freedom Jazz Dance," Berg’s song stays with you and brings a smile of recognition every time it’s played.

The all-star band performs hard-hitting, straight-ahead material with nods to Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Jack McDuff and Larry Young. Brecker and Berg each wrote three of the session’s tunes, while both DeFrancesco and Bollenback contributed one. Since it’s an organ combo, the Superband needs no bass; DeFrancesco’s bass line is fast and without distinct edges.

Brecker plays his part bright and fluid. He’s at the top of his form. Always taking care to produce a proper sound column, rich in overtones, the trumpeter also plays each number loose and expressive. DeFrancesco is upbeat, always propelling the unit. The organist builds each solo into a fiery peak; quite fast and furious when appropriate. Saxophonist Berg is mellower, respecting a good clear tone, while keeping it round for a loose blues honk. Berg uses the instrument’s full range. His feature role on "Oleo" runs fast and expressive, catching fire at the end of his solo. Bollenback’s work is articulate with attention to tone quality. His solo work remains fluid, while his solid accompaniment plays a key role in the ensemble’s highly successful program. Drummer Dennis Chambers provides clear and crisp coloring. He takes a few drum breaks, but for the most part prefers to steady the unit’s rhythm as a constant force. The JazzTimes® Superband employs a straight-ahead format with innovative solos all around and fours with the drummer. The formula works quite well.


Track Listing: Dirty Dogs; Silverado; Jones Street; Oleo; Friday Night at the Cadillac Club; SoHo Sole; The Ada Strut; Blue Goo; Seven A.M. Special; Freedom Jazz Dance.

Personnel: Bob Berg- tenor saxophone; Randy Brecker- trumpet, flugelhorn on "Oleo" and "The Ada Strut;" Dennis Chambers- drums; Joey DeFrancesco- Hammond B-3 organ; Paul Bollenback- guitar.

Title: The JazzTimes | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Concord Music Group


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