Eight Track II
This is a followup to guitarist Dave Stryker's 2014 recording "Eight Track." In the notes to that release, Stryker observed that the 70's (the time of eight track decks) was “a time when there was a lot of great pop music going on as well as jazz.” On that album, his trio of organist Jared Gold and drummer McClenty Hunter was augmented by vibraphonist Stefon Harris. Gold and Hunter are back for this date, but once again he has added a vibraphonist to the organ trio, in this case Steve Nelson.
There is plenty of pleasures on this new collection of grooves as he re-imagines songs from The Isley Brothers, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Prince, Cream, The Zombies, James Ingram and John Barry. This is music that is breezy, funky and definitely tied to a groove with Nelson adding unusual textures to the unusual twists taken on a reflective "What's Going On," a driving "I Can't Get Next To You," a bouncy "Time of the Season," a dreamy "Midnight Cowboy," a recrafted "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours," and an organ based shuffle reworking of "Sunshine of Your Love," that sounds like something he might have played with Brother Jack McDuff in the 1970s.
Throughout Stryker displays his clean, imaginatively executed playing while Gold digs deep in the grease with Nelson's shimmering vibes provides additional musical delights for this second helping of organ jazz transformations of 70's pop. And let us not forget Hunter's solid swing driving these performances along. We will need to hope for for Eight Track III in a couple years.
I received my review copy from a publicist. This review originally appeared in the September-October 2016 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 368). I have made minor changes to that published review. Here is "Trouble Man."