Monday, April 22, 2013

Andy Snitzer The Rhythm Native Language 2013

Andy Snitzer is back with his latest release, The Rhythm. Set to street on April 16 2013 on the Native Language label.

Gotta admit the last release was not high on my list despite the fact Traveler did do well  on the Smooth Jazz.Com web site. Don't get me wrong as Snitzer can play and this is his second solo release after spending a incredibly successful and extended tenure with Paul Simon. The problem? Predictability. My review drew some fire from the Snitzer camp but since taste is subjective and a review is a shared perspective not an indictment, I am happy to say that The Rhythm is an exciting part of the new sound for contemporary jazz, for the uninitiated think of 480 East meets Four Play and you get the idea. Snitzer has a distinctive fat tenor sound, that sound some players work for years but never find and with that he does an end run around that cookie cutter sound of some contemporary artists by adding a rhythmic excursion and fantastic improvisational chops as well versed as any player across the jazz spectrum.

Oddly enough Chuck Loeb from Four Play does make an appearance on Latin influenced  "Caso De Amor" and adds some real deal flavor to a slightly darker and richer sound that permeates  The Rhythm. A more ambient slightly techno influence is laid down from trumpet phenom Till Bronner on "Kinnetic" which is more of an open ended funk fest slightly reminiscent of perhaps Shilts or another British acid jazz favorite in Down To The Bone. The first single "Candy" sparks an insatiable groove and rhythm that sound fresh despite the use of MIDI programming. Tim Lefebvre may be one of the most underrated bass players if not certainly one of the most versatile and his skills are well defined throughout. The bass duties are shared with James Genus also proving just what a real deal bassist can do. A huge plus here is that there are no vocals tossed in that go nowhere as with some contemporary artists.

The Rhythm has Andy Snitzer at the top of his game, getting his groove back and proving contemporary jazz doesn't have to predictable to be creative. An absolute rock solid release.

4 Stars

Tracks Candy; Velvet; Devotion; Breaking; No Exit; Sirens Serenade; Kinetic; Caso De Amor; And Again; Above Us All; Realise.

Personnel: Michael White: drums; James Genus: bass; Bernd Schoenhart: guitar; Alain Mallet: rhodes/clav/ synth), Jim Hynes: flugelhorn, trumpet; Michael Davis: trombone; Shawn Pelton: drums; Tim Lefebvre: bass; Graham Hawthorne: drums; Paul Pesco: guitar; Paul Livant: guitar; Tony Kadleck: trumpet; Chuck Loeb: guitar; Andy Snitzer: synth bass, tenor saxophone, keyboards, MIDI programming; Matt Dine: oboe; David Mann: woodwinds/string arrangements/MIDI programming.