Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dave Haskell Group Pivot Point CSP 2013

Pivot Point Not many people can move effortlessly from one career to another. Talent and occassionally knowing the right people help but it is the talent of Dave Haskell that ties it all together. After 2 decades as a commecial pilot, Haskell has placed his wings on a shelf in order to pick up his guitar. Pivot Point drops March 26th, 2013.

The amazing aspect of Pivot Point is two-fold with the first being able to pick up his guitar literally where he left off as though no time has past. The second point which may be a slight stretch but meant as a supreme compliment none the less is that Pivot Point is to a lesser degree a Yellowjackets reunion record of sorts with keyboard wizard Russell Ferante, blues based Robben Ford on guitar and of course the incomporable bassist and part time producer Jimmy Haslip. Let us not forget the Dave Haskell Group is made up of pianist Dan Zemelman, bassist Aaron Germain, and swing king Alan Hall. Toss in the guest shots of some former and current members of the Yellowjackets and you have a can't miss release.

Haskell's clean, angular playing is executed with surgical preceision and fluid tone rarely heard today. Dave Haskell left music back in the mid 1980's to pursue a dream of becoming a commercial pilot and now he is piloting his own band into a new musical direction and is handling his flight plan with a little help from his friends. Haskell's musical pedigree includes but is not limited to Jeff Lorber, Albert King and Tower of Power.

With the exception of the Robben Ford tune "Monty" and the Herbie Hancock classic "Eye Of The Hurricane", we are treated to eight Haskell originals that sound like a musical happy place between contemporary and post bop jazz left on simmer for about twenty years. I could do without "For Barack" but I would be disengenious to allow political ideology to trample a stellar release. Try as you may, not a bad tune in the bunch. Pivot Point in general and Dave Haskell in particular are "stealth" in that if you are not paying close attention they could easily slip under your radar. My advice...Buy better radar.

Tracks: Agnes; For Barack; Mamba Samba; An Orchid For Emily; Second Look; Thirty West By Seventy; 888 Watson; For The Moment; Monty; Eye Of The Hurricane.

Personnel: Dave Haskell: guitars; Dan Zemelman: piano and keyboards; Aaron Germain: electric and acoustic bass; Alan Hall: drums.
Guests: Robben Ford: guitar (8,9); Russell Ferrante: piano, rhodes and keyboards (5,6,8,9); Jimmy Haslip: electric bass (5,6,8,9); percussion: (8); Toss Panos: drums (8,9).

Be sure and check out www.davehaskeljazz.com and many thanks to Michael Bloom of Michael Bloom Media Relations!