The shuffling, punchy drums of Simon Phillips and the vibrant sax of Katisse Buckingham on the first track, “Twenty Twelve,” suggest a hot jazz jam; however, Weingart’s spacey keyboards look to early ‘70s Pink Floyd for inspiration. It’s a spectacular way of opening a record, one that rockets past the atmosphere. By the time Weingart begins reaching Buckingham’s fiery energy, the song really blasts off. Like their previous effort, Dialogue, Weingart and Jones are keenly focused on creating knife-sharp melodies. Jones’ rhythmic bass lines give the songs an irresistible groove, allowing Weingart to cut loose with changes in tempo and mood. “Conspiracy” twists and turns like the rubbery instruments on the back cover art. However, the CD has its laidback moments, too. “Nostalgia” is aglow with summer romanticism, featuring some of Weingart’s most elegant playing and lush saxophones.
Simon Phillips Protocol ii Featuring: Andy Tommons, Steve Weingart and Ernest Tibbs
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