Thursday, August 31, 2017

Music Review: 'Strykin' Ahead' by Dave Stryker

Dave Stryker grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and moved to New York City in 1980. His first break, this turned out to be an invaluable experience, paying his dues night after night with the soulful jazz organist Jack McDuff. Early on Stryker realized that as much as he loved playing standards and the jazz repertoire he had to have something of his own to give to the music. He feels that his writing combined with his playing is what shapes his musical expression. He has recorded and published over 130 of his own compositions.

As his excellent PR states, If you have chops like Dave’s; his musical sensibilities; his uncanny ability to put together interesting instrumentations; his skill at selecting just the right band mates to make Jazz with; wouldn’t you want to work all the time, too? It becomes like anything you’re good at; you want to do it as often as possible but occasionally vary the context to keep it from getting stale. Ted Panken has stated provides a context for the new recording as well as ‘Dave is an in-the-moment improviser with deep roots in the tradition who knows how to push the envelope without damaging the contents and “... his long-standing practice of presenting originals and reharmonized standards from the jazz and show music songbooks. The notion of moving forward by triangulating a space between creative and pragmatic imperatives is a consistent thread throughout Dave Striker's four decades in the jazz business, not least on Strykin' Ahead, his 28th CD as a leader.’

The ensemble is Dave Stryker – guitar, Steve Nelson – vibraphone, Jared Gold – organ, and McClenty Hunter – drums.

The tracks are Shadowboxing, Footprints, New You, Passion Flower, Strykin’ Ahead, Blues Down Deep, Joy Spring, Who Can I Turn To, and Donna Lee.

These nostalgic songs are deeply ingrained in Stryker’s consciousness. And the earthy feel of the organ quartet sound is imbedded deep in his bones after 30 years of playing on the scene. His history and musicality are all at home here. Grady Harp, July 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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