Saturday, March 03, 2007

Will Bernard - Party Hats (Palmetto, 2007)

Guitarist Will Bernard is the latest addition to Palmetto's growing and diverse roster of jazz artists. Bernard's music combines late-period Grant Green like guitar grooves with bubbling organ and some funky horns for an enjoyable disc. Also performing on this album are organist Wil Blades and a large supporting cast including saxophonists Peter Apfelbaum and Dave Ellis. The songs are a fairly diverse lot going from straight ahead funk grooves on the soulful "Afro Sheen" with its grinding organ and throwback soul-jazz plucking over a backbeat to complex modern jazz on the horn fueled "Ripple Sole" with some fine soloing from tenor saxophonist Joe Cohen. This is a uniformly well played session with good soloing and crisp ensemble playing. It will be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates a fine groove.

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