Mixed Reviews - Gadd, Body Percussion and SkyGel
70 Strong - Steve Gadd Band
Named in honour of the man himself who has just entered his 7th decade on earth and has influenced almost every drummer to have walked on the surface of the planet, this is a fine jazz record.
There really isn’t much that needs to be said regarding the calibre of musicians on the release, each and every one of them distinguished in their field brings to the table something both unmistakably themselves but also perfectly balanced with the rest of the band.
Alongside Steve are his regular collaborators including Walt Flower (Trumpet/Flugelhorn), Larry Goldings (Keyboards/Accordian), Jimmy Johnson (Bass) and Michael Landau (Guitars).
There are really some nice hooks on this record, one example of this is “Sly Boots” which features a great ¾ groove before shifting into a compound time feel and back again with subtle but very effective guitars from Michael Landau. The end of the song features a repetitive ramp with some exquisite soloing by Steve and for me this is a particular highlight of the record.
I also really enjoyed Steve’s brush work on tracks like “Desu”. It’s a great example of simple but beautiful brush playing in a slow ballad, in which the brass takes the lead.
Like previous records from the Steve Gadd Band, this is an easy and enjoyable listen and provides a nice introduction into modern jazz playing, drawing on the years of experience and finesse acquired by some of the best musicians in the genre.
My recommendation is hardly necessary for fans of jazz or Steve Gadd in general, but I’d highly recommend you check this out.