89

J. Steinkoler Quartet: The Road Home

By

Sign in to view read count
J. Steinkoler Quartet: The Road Home Some great albums reach greatness through a uniformity of sound, like a sculpture chiseled from one block of marble; Kind of Blue leaps to mind. Other albums achieve their heights through eclectic variety, and while a number of attempts might be suggested, I'd like to propose Jeremy Steinkoler's The Road Home.

Steinkoler displays a taste for the unusual and diverse on this eleven-track album. He's a technician on the traps, delivering savory licks for all occasions. The album launches with "The 8-Ball is Neutral," opening with a prominent bass line from Devin Hoff and splashes of color from Scott Foster on guitar. Jim Peterson lights up his alto sax and from there the group continues through a straight-ahead jazz piece with colorful solos served up by all involved. The next track, "Chill," comes across more like the ensemble bands of the 1970s and 1980s, a little cooler and more introspective than the opener. "Sunny Came Home" — yes, Shawn Colvin's folk-pop hit — is brilliantly covered without losing the essence of the original. Equally moving but less obvious covers are Abdullah Ibrahim's "Water from an Ancient Well" and Karla Bonoff's "Home," further proof of the far-flung influences drawn upon by this band.

Some of the more exploratory pieces leave me flat. "Fi'Deen" builds inertia then lets it escape again and again. The technique suggests drinking-song comedy — undoubtedly the intent — but I never feel in on the joke. "Compromise" ventures out on a light breeze and nearly loses me, only to be saved by the rousing "Pig Farm Hill."

Still, every track brings a surprise and remains fresh after repeated listens. "Something for everyone" is a promise rarely kept and usually suggests mediocrity. Not so with The Road Home.



Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Impulsive Illuminations" CD/LP/Track Review Impulsive Illuminations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Left Right Left" CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Repeater" CD/LP/Track Review Repeater
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Say So" CD/LP/Track Review Say So
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 14, 2016
Read "J.I.G.E.N" CD/LP/Track Review J.I.G.E.N
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 5, 2017
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 16, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!