Bobby Streng Saxomble: Empty Room
Bobby Streng Saxomble
Live at the Firefly (Bobby Streng Saxomble 30991-2)
Bobby Streng (baritone sax),
Mark Kieme (soprano sax), Pat Seymour (alto sax), Michael Hiemstra, Dan Puccio (tenor saxes), Jonathan Ovalle (keyboards), Matt Henninger (bass), Nick Adams (drums).
Composed by Bobby Streng.
Recorded: live at the Firefly Club, Ann Arbor, MI, January 13, 2007
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Ignore the scary album cover. Those who long for the heyday of jazz-funk horn bands such as Dreams or Tower of Power will find much to like on the CD within. Best of all, it was recorded live, in a Michigan nightclub.
After a dreamy, languid sax-section intro reminiscent of Don Ellis, Saxomble's tight, competent rhythm section lays down a solid Latin-funk groove propelling the horns through a fairly standard head that somehow manages to keep itself above the cliché waterline. It's an energetic, polished live performance. Michael Hiemstra delivers a solid tenor solo, fueled by spirited comping from Jonathan Ovaltie, the locked-in drive of Henniger's electric bass and Nick Adams's crisp drums. But the ensemble really takes flight with Mark Rieme's intense soprano harangue, which builds to a lofty, explosive conclusion.
Back in my salad days on the road in the '70s, I found that the Detroit area had the best jazz radio in the country and some of the best musicians to be found anywhere. These young players are living up to that legacy.
Reviewer: Bill Barnes
Tags: 2000s jazz