Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Dave Stryker Trio - Prime (Strikezone Records, 2023)

This album is a fine example of the guitar, organ and drums jazz group tradition that became popular in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s with the likes of Jimmy Smith and Grant Green leading small combos in the studio and on the road. This album is led by Dave Stryker on guitar with Jared Gold on organ and McClenty Hunter on drums and percussion. However, this isn’t you typical soul jazz unit that leans on blues and soul, but an established group that has an identity of their own. “Prime,” the opener is a powerful piece of work, with the group playing collectively and surprisingly loud, driving the music through a strong theme and improvisation. From there they move into a varied and thoughtful program of jazz pieces that show what a road tested band is capable of. Balancing groovers like “Captain Jack” dedicated to the great organist Jack McDuff, whom Stryker played with at the beginning of his career with a graceful ballad in the standard “I Should Care” demonstrates the breadth of the group’s fluency in the jazz idiom. Going into the studio they restricted themselves to one take of each song with no overdubbing, and upping the degree of difficulty in this manner served to further sharpen the trio’s resolve, resulting in a potent yet tasteful set of music. Prime - amazon.com

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