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About The Stryker/Slagle Band and Keeper
In jazz recording parlance a keeper" is a take that is worth savingone to be listened to over and over again. It's also a most appropriate heading for the fifth outing by The Stryker/Slagle Band, as it well describes not just the date's title track, but each of the other nine pieces that comprise what may well be the best effort yet by this remarkable quartet co-led by guitarist Dave Stryker and saxophonist/flautist Steve Slagleone on which each of the songs bears repeated hearing.
Highly respected for their distinguished careers as sidemenStryker for his years with Brother Jack McDuff, Stanley Turrentine, Eliane Elias and Kevin Mahogany, Slagle for tenures with Carla Bley, Ray Barretto, Joe Lovano and the Mingus Big Bandboth men are established leaders in their own rights, with large impressive discographies. But it is as co-leaders of TSSB that these two are really just beginning to be hailed for the full breadth of their abilities as versatile players and talented composers.
The fifth outing by the Stryker/Slagle Band, Keeper, is the third to partner the pair with the formidable rhythm team of bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Victor Lewis, both back from 2008's critically acclaimed The Scene, which prompted George Kanzler to note in Jazz Times that the two had achieved, for two decades, a contemporary rarity; a band with a distinct, highly developed sound." Recorded after a successful engagement at New York's Jazz Standard in bassist Anderson's Mountain Rest Studio in upstate New Paltz, away from the distractions and economic pressures of the big city, Keeper captures the band at its very best, both relaxed and cutting edge. The date's nine original compositionsfive by Stryker, four from Slagleplus the group's arrangement of Thelonious Monk's 'Ruby My Dear,' all showcase each of the band member's individual talents within an aggregate sound in which the whole exceeds the sum of its considerable parts...