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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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DAVE STRYKER

Eight Track

Strikezone 8809

 

 

1. I'll Be Around

2. Pusherman/Superfly

3. Wichita Lineman

4. Aquarius

5. Never My Love

6. Superwoman

7. Never Can Say Goodbye

8. Make It With You

9. Money

10. That's The Way Of The World

 

Dave Stryker – Guitar

Stefon Harris – Vibes

Jared Gold – Organ

McClenty Hunter - Drums

 

In the 1970s, guitarist Dave Stryker had an eight-track player in his van, on which he played the hits of the day. His new album features some of these tunes – several of them not attempted by jazz musicians nowadays. Given the material, you might expect an old-fashioned or even outdated approach but Dave makes the music entirely up-to-date – and swinging!

Some of the tunes are still well-known: like Wichita Lineman, Glen Campbell’s first hit, a waltz which is performed with an attractive bounce. It actually dates from 1969 and was composed by Jimmy Webb. Stryker states the melody with hints of Wes Montgomery in his playing, and there are discreet solos from Dave, organist Jared Gold and vibist Stefon Harris.

Aquarius comes from the 1967 musical Hair, and it is taken at a fair lick by the group, which really knows how to cook. You can hear Jared Gold keeping the rhythm moving with the organ’s bass pedals (and significant help from drummer McClenty Hunter, who adds a steaming solo to Aquarius). And the organist never uses excessive volume, as some organists do.

Stevie Wonder’s Superwoman has a nice easy lope in jazz-fusion style. And David Gates’ Make It With You, which was a great success for Bread in 1970, proves that the group can play with gentle delicacy (neat chordings by Stryker).

The other tunes are delivered with equal enthusiasm and musicianship. I’ll Be Around has an attractive shuffle beat; Never My Love opens with a pensive introduction from organist Jared Gold and continues with thoughtful solos from Stryker and Harris; and Money has a mysterious air about it.

This is my first encounter with Dave Stryker’s group (even though he’s apparently made 25 albums under his own name), but I hope it won’t be the last.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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