Danny Gottlieb: Reef Warriors
Danny Gottlieb (drums)
Whirlwind (Atlantic 7 81958-2)
Doug Hall (piano), Gregory Smith (keyboards), John Herington (guitar), Café (percussion).
Composed by Danny Gottlieb & Gregory Smith.
Recorded: New York, 1989
Rating: 85/100 (learn more)
What is it about drummer Danny Gottlieb and bassist Mark Egan that keeps making them write about water? As the leaders of the fine fusion group Elements, they produced Blown Away – a whole album based on oceans and beaches. One of Gottlieb's other albums was called Aquamarine. On Whirlwind, we find the composition "Reef Warriors." I'm really beginning to sense these guys are beach bums by day who masquerade as superior musicians at night. In fact, as I write this review, Gottlieb is an instructor at a Florida college. It all fits, if you ask me.
"Reef Warriors" is a typical late-1980s Gottlieb production. Co-written with keyboardist Gregory Smith, it is a fine example of a catchy melody played to a tee by some fine fusion players who would take turns appearing on each other's albums. These musicians developed a deep rapport that enabled them to create music that, quite frankly, could be put on any one of their albums and be called their own. "Reef Warriors" would sound as much at home on an Elements, Mark Egan or Bill Evans (sax) album. That might mess up the aquatic thing Gottlieb and Egan have going, but you could do it.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky