Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Incredibly inspired, maybe the best GRP album of all
S. A. Felton | southern OR USA | 02/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just went to GRP's web site for the first time. Ho hum,
a lot about "smooth jazz," which to me is mostly uninspired,
monotonous, and unchallenging, i.e., don't rock the boat.
"Zephyr" is quite another matter, much more the kind of
cheerful, uplifting, inspiring music I always liked when I got an
album on the GRP label. Yet "Zephyr" is way beyond that in my opinion.
It is dynamic, moving, and passionate. Sometimes an artist will realize
that what he/she is creating deserves a deeper explanation, and will put
some helpful comments in the liner notes for those who might want
to analyse the music, but unfortunately the liner notes for this CD are
quite sparse when it comes to additional comments.
Zephyr means a "light wind," but the album is anything but
that for the most part. The first/title song sets the tone for much of
the album: it's jazz, it rocks, and it also has a Latin influence, and
the alto sax solo in the middle really cooks! The one song that
does remind one of a "light wind" is the 4th track, "Anoranza,"
which apparently is a Spanish word that means nostalgia, and
indeed one can feel some nostalgia while listening. The next track,
"Hardwood," is my favorite (reminds me of my first trip to the N. OR
coast, Labor Day, 1996). Only 3 musicians perform, yet Grusin uses
piano and synthesizers to create an intense, emotional, mystical,
fantastic sound. The next track, "StoryTeller," is intense, but
unlike most of the tracks has some real singing, though it's actually
"scat" singing. Whatever, the song works quite well!
The other songs on the album show great variety within the established
molds. There is one piano solo track, more Latin sounds, more jazz,
more rock. It's always pleasant, uplifting, and passionate, whatever
forms are used.
"Zephyr" features some great musicians in addition to Don
Grusin, one I remember from Weather Report (percussion) and
another from his days playing violin on J. McGlaughlin's Mahavishnu
Orchestra. The musicians I am not familiar with perform just
as great as the more known ones."