Jazz guitarist Rick Reynolds (a native of Florida) just released his latest album called Verb. It features Rick Reynolds (Guitar, Keyboards), Greg Roth (Bass), Bomani (Drums, Percussion), Michael Glenn (Trumpet, Flugal horn, Saxaphone), Chris Gardiner (Piano Keyboards), Burt Kimbrul (Piano, Keyboards), Rodney Brown (Saxes). This album is more than likely the result of an experiment to create a live and unrehearsed single work of collective improvisation that remains accessible on multiple levels for the listener. The unifying concept of the project relies on a minimal framework of designated meters, tempos and sonorities. The framework is probably intended to provide continuity and facilitate a free exchange of ideas between three musicians with equal roles. Each selection on this recording is a first take whose beginning, middle and end was unknown at the outset. What am I Trying to say? What you have here is real good Jazz! Reynolds reminds me of Tal Farlow, Grant Green, Jim Hall, Charlie Christian, Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis. I can also hear John Abercrombie, John McLaughlin, Larry Coryell, Phillip Catherine and even Joseph LoDuca. If that’s not a compliment I don’t know what is. Today music has many people feeling of bit of soullessness — how appropriate I get a CD by an artist as amazing as Rick Reynolds Group. The album begins in hooky fashion with the magnificent “Walk the Line” which is a crisp raid on the senses, laden with hooks and impressive chops from Reynolds and company. The only surprise is that it wasn’t a single on Premier Jazz radio stations, as it is relatively radio friendly within this genera to the highest order. “Beck’s Cheek” follows and is a pleasant journey through a Progressive-Jazz-Passion play. The melodic harmonies beautifying what could have been a hypnotic number. “Marching Orders” is my personal favourite and is an exceptionally dynamic song showcasing syncopated brilliance with priceless movements and an infectious feel. In the end Reynolds and company are a real breath of fresh air and a shock to everyday musical system presently in place. The song titles are typical of improvised performances no doubt, and this is world class Jazz the way it was meant to be played. In summary ‘Verb” delivers everything you would expect of professional grade Jazz release and is in itself an amazing 45+ minute journey. Out of the whole album, 4 songs are in the category of brilliant, 3 of them are good, and there are only 1 I’d find myself wanting to skip in rotation. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rick Reynolds Group continues to get more popular as this Summer unwinds.
Rating 5/5 Stars
Buy “Verb” http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/rickreynoldsgroup
Clay Burton edited by Heather Savage
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