Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Smokin' in the Pit
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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Five jazz super stars at their top ...
KD | 10/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mike Mainieri reissued this masterpiece adding 6 bonus tracks (3 additional compositions and 3 alternative takes) to the original double album. If you want to hear five jazz masters (Micheal Brecker, Steve Gadd, Mike Mainieri, Eddie Gomez and Don Grolnick) playing live at their top don't miss this. In my opinion it is the best thing Steps Ahead ever made."
This is Jazz
Jeff Arenson | Colorado Springs, CO United States | 02/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Smokin' in the Pit" is what every jazz recording should be. This was the first of the Steps/Steps Ahead releases and the best one. This is a jazz recording that is all acoustic (unlike the rest that were fusion). The band is made up of all-star calibre players. Mike Manieri is the best vibraphonist that I have ever heard(Sorry Mr.Burton). Eddie Gomez is solid throughout the whole disc and fills out the low end. His playing isn't virtuostic in nature but he does what every bassist should do; Be the link between rhythm and melody and he does this extremely well. Don Grolnik is an accomplished pianist and he doesn't dissapoint here. Steve Gadd is one of the greatest drummers to have ever stepped behind a kit and the performance on this disc is his best. This rhythm section makes every tune a lesson in jamming together and creating a groove without getting boring/repetetive. With the grooves that are created by Gomez/Gadd anybody would sound like a Juliard graduate and these soloists sound unearthly. All of these musicians are amazing but the headliner of this set is the sax playing of one Michael Brecker. He is quite possibly the greatest saxophonist ever and ,at the least, he is the heir to the Parker/Coltrane throne. This man has to be heard to be believed. As for the songs themselves, all are great at the least. The unreal ones are; both versions of "Not Ethiopia" of which one version has Kazumi Watanabe playing a fine guitar solo. "Recordame" which is a showcase for Brecker and Gadd. Gadd delivers an incredible polyphonic solo at the end of this piece. The tune "Sarah's Touch" is my personal favorite. It contains Mr. Brecker at his best ,blending speed and phrasing to unveil to the listener one of the most amazing things that they will ever hear. This disc is unbelievable. Anyone that is currently listening to fusion or any other type of instrumental music will find this to be a perfect introduction to jazz. BUY THIS NOW!!!!"
Mike Mainieri deserves wider recognition!
KD | Southeastern Ohio | 05/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I arrived at this CD after hearing and adoring their later work. "Smokin' in the Pit" is a great CD, but "Modern Times" offers more exciting compositions - by that I mean drum lines that loop in a different meter, as well as some creative modern melodies.
Smokin' in the Pit differs, largely in my opinon, with the change in drummers. Steve Gadd on "Pit", and Peter Erskine on "Modern Times." Gadd plays well. His style is all his own. And I have to say he is one of my favorite drummers. But, Peter Erskine is more of a chameleon, choosing styles that differ more for each song. The difference is most noticable on "Sara's Touch", a song of exquisite beauty composed by Mike Mainieri, the vibes player. I have the recording "Wanderlust" by Mike Mainieri with Peter Erskine on drums and Marcus Miller on bass (as I recall.) I consider this a much more sensitive version of the song.
Back to "Smokin' in the Pit" - It is nonetheless an exciting session by top notch musicians. Michael Brecker, Eddie Gomez and Don Grolnik round out the list. On this session a lot of jamming goes on. They can be long, but I hasten so say not too long. This is certainly not a flaw, just different. I just expected more of the ground breaking style of their later recordings."