Joe DeRose and Amici: Peace Streets

Don’t tell drummer Joe DeRose that “fusion” or “jazz-rock,” as it used to be called, is a long lost genre. What was ubiquitous back in the 70s is as rare as blonds in a Greek Orthodox Church service, but DeRose brings it back, and with an enjoyable vengeance. He teams up with Hristo Vitchev/g, Dann Zinn/sax, Murray Low/keys and Dan Robbins/b for a dozen originals that bring out the best of this style, namely uptempo energy, and leaves behind the weaknesses, namely self-indulgent chops, to create quite an enjoyable session.

DeRose’s kinetic and active drumming keep all of the tunes livened up, such as the uptempo’d groove on “Just About 8” and the jamming title track, while “New Frontiers” is hard hitting, but not overbearing. Zinn’s tenor is warm and rich, and doesn’t go into histrionics; instead he keeps the feel contemporary and euphonic as on the rock steady “So It Is.” Vitchev, better known for his acoustic sound on his own discs, sounds comfy and at home while plugged in, showing some impressive work on the lilting “After the Storm” with keyboardist Low, or going back and forth with Zinn, and then ratcheting it up together on the enjoyable wrestling match “In a Moment’s Time.” The work between DeRose and Robbins is like the teamwork on a three legged race, with them able to swerve left and right without tripping over each other. Lots of uptemp an d uplifting moments here. Give it a chance!

First Orbit Sounds Records

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