Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Jim Snidero's Excellent Interface

Alto Saxophonist Jim Snidero has a new release “Interface” on Savant. The Maryland native brings together a group from the Baltimore-Washington area for this date that include guitarist Paul Bollenback with whom Snidero played often in the 80’s at the fabled DC club One Step Down. In addition to Bollenback, Snidero is joined by bassist Paul Gill and drummer McLenty Hunter. He has a pretty substantial body of recordings, and this is the second one in which he has employed a guitar as opposed to piano. In fact on half of the eight selections, Bollenback utilizes and acoustic guitar.

All eight compositions are Snidero’s originals opening with the title track, an original with a brisk tempo that displays the Snidero’s vocalized tone which is complimented by Bollenback’s chords and single note runs. Silhouette has a more contemplative flavor with softer attack employed by Snidero complimented by Bollenback’s adroit acoustic guitar. The playing is more extroverted on Fall Out, that suggests Jack DeJohnette’s Special Edition recordings. Bollenback’s chords and runs on this evokes John Abercombie.

Bollenback’s unaccompanied acoustic guitar intro sets the tone for the folkish One By One with Snidero’s alto lending to a bluesy feel with Hunter’s cymbal work adding subtle accents here. More acoustic guitar is present to compliment Snidero’s lead on a Bossa Nova, Apertivo, while the ensuing Viper ratchets up the energy level with Snidero’s a cappella intro has a middle east mood to it before stating the five-note theme over a vamp stated by Gill and Bollenback, with Gill taking a solo prior to some blistering playing from the leader, followed by a memorable acoustic guitar solo by Bollenback. After The Pain is a lovely performance of a blue ballad that Snidero composed shortly after his mother’s death and the tastefulness of Bollenback’s accompaniment who contributes his own thoughtful solo that maintains the mood.

Interface is an excellent recording that has intriguing compositions, and strong ensemble playing supporting the inventive and passionate playing by Snidero and Bollenback. It is a release that will have me seeking out more from these players.

This review was written for Jazz & Blues Report who provided me with the review copy.

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