One of the most recorded drummers of all time, Steve Gadd has worked with everyone from Chick Corea
to Paul Simon
, Maynard Ferguson
to Eric Clapton
. When it comes to his own projects, Gadd loves to play good-time groove music that has the danceable qualities and bluesiness of the best R&B along with the adventurous solos and impeccable musicianship of jazz.
On Live At Voce (Deluxe Edition), Gadd is joined by Joey DeFrancesco (arguably the World's greatest organist), the passionate baritone-saxophonist Ronnie Cuber, and the versatile guitarist Paul Bollenbeck. Together they create grooves and hard-driving swing that are reminiscent of the best organ groups of the 1960s including an early George Benson band that featured Cuber. The infectious rhythms, catchy material, and colorful ensembles make this band impossible to resist.
For this project the quartet, which has been together since 2007, is heard at a popular club in Scottsdale, Arizona. Watching The River Flow," which is based on Swanee River," has exciting solos by all four musicians. The one-chord vamp Way Back Home" gives Ronnie Cuber a chance to preach on his horn. Undecided" is taken at a burning tempo that is perfect for the musicians, with DeFrancesco showing why he is considered the master of his instrument. Bye Bye Blackbird" starts out with a surprising duet between Gadd on brushes and DeFrancesco, who is heard on a muted trumpet a la Miles Davis. Them Changes" finds the group rocking out on an R&B groove that alternates with some furious straight ahead jamming.
Cuber is featured on a heartfelt rendition of Georgia On My Mind." Back At The Chicken Shack" has the Gadd band returning to the blues, really digging into the music. Horace Silver's Sister Sadie" is given quite a ride by the musicians, with this being the most stirring performance of the heated set.
As a bonus, the deluxe version of Live At Voce concludes with a pair of intriguing duets ("Here I Am Now" and Down") by Gadd and singer/songwriter Edie Brickell. Gadd and Brickell lead the newly formed band, The Gaddabouts, featuring Andrew Fairweather Low and Pino Palladino.
About The Musicians:
Steve Gadd has had a remarkable career during the past 40 years, and there are no signs that he plans to slow down. He began playing drums when he was three, sat in with Dizzy Gillespie at the age of 11, and became a major studio drummer in 1972. Since then his countless number of recordings include important sessions with Chuck Mangione, Bill Watrous, Jim Croce, Joe Farrell, Bette Midler, Chet Baker, Phoebe Snow, Bob James, Hubert Laws, Herbie Mann, George Benson, David Sanborn, Paul Simon, Tom Scott, Chick Corea, Grover Washington Jr, Jim Hall, Maynard Ferguson, Al DiMeola, Carla Bley, Judy Collins, Stanley Clarke, Stuff, Joe Cocker, the Brecker Brothers, Dave Grusin, Charles Mingus, Eddie Daniels, Weather Report, Lee Ritenour, Michael Franks, Carly Simon, Steely Dan, Al Jarreau, Grover Washington Jr, the The Manhattan Transfer, Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra, Diana Ross, James Brown, the Manhattan Jazz Quintet and Natalie Cole plus the Gadd Gang. Just in the past year, Gadd has toured and recorded with Eric Clapton, James Taylor Quartet, Alain Clark and Edie Brickell.
Joey DeFrancesco is largely responsible for the Hammond B-3 organ making a comeback in the 1990s. The son of organist Papa John DeFrancesco, Joey began sitting in at his father's gigs when he was just six. He learned from the masters, befriended Jimmy Smith, and toured with Miles Davis right after his high school graduation in 1988. His brilliant playing and enthusiasm led to the organ, which had been neglected in favor of electric keyboards, being restored to its former place of prominence. His success has led to many other young organists entering the scene, but Joey DeFrancesco still ranks at the very top.
Baritonist Ronnie Cuber, whose deep guttural tone is influenced by the late Pepper Adams, has been a major force on his instrument since the 1960s. His stints with the Maynard Ferguson big band and with George Benson made him well known in the jazz world. In recent years he has often been heard with the Mingus Big Band.
Guitarist Paul Bollenback started playing music when he was seven. Originally a rock player, he changed his musical direction after hearing Miles Davis. He has been associated with Joey DeFrancesco off and on since the early 1990s and has also worked with Mark Murphy, Gary Thomas, Ron Holloway, Joe Locke, Houston Person, Geoff Keezer, Jim Snidero, Jack McDuff, and Tony Monaco.
Steve Gadd's Live At Voce lives up to its great potential, resulting in bluesy music that is both accessible and superbly played by four master musicians.
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