Steve Gadd Band: 70 Strong

I just saw this band performing these songs at Catalina’s, and lemme tell ya-YA GOTTA GO SEE THESE GUYS. The record is simply an invitation to see them stretch out on their solos and watch the master drummer do wonders with the sticks and brushes that you can only audibly detect here. The band is a hip combination of Larry Goldings/key, Jimmy Johnson/b, Michael Landau/g and Walt Fowler/tp, and they mix blues, bop and modal like master chefs.

Most of the songs range from 4-7 minutes, and Gadd gives a workshop on time, taste and tenacity. A reading of the classic “Freedom Jazz Dance” that is both gospel driven and bluesy. The band slithers like a water moccasin on “De Volt Ao Samba” while the mix of Fowler’s hip-as-Miles horn teams up fantastically with Landau’s Memphis blues picking on “Foam Home” and “The Long Way Home.” Goldings works with the keyboards like he had them in his crib on the funky Jan Hammer tune” Oh, Yeah” while Johnson not only composes some of the best tunes here, such as “Desu,” but does a great work of keeping the groove melodic. As for Gadd, hey, he’s STEVE GADD! Give an ear to the master blaster!

BFM Jazz Records

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