Player A gives us something old, something new, something borrowed, and – yes, even something blue …but always with a smooth touch of jazz
Devices, Techniques, & Mechanisms
Creative Soul Jazz
6 tracks / 24:54
The new Player A EP, Devices, Techniques, & Mechanisms, is pretty much a revisiting of 2011’s Our Own Devices, adding a fresher take on four tracks alongside a pair of new songs (“Yin and Yang” and “Deep Pockets”). The resulting half-dozen crisply produced light jazz/funk songs are a neat package of exemplary instrumental jazz from a group of studio masters.
The re-named “Told You So!” is remixed to feature the tasteful, smooth soloing of sax-man Jeff Kashiwa, who peppers the mix with tasty hot licks throughout while the incredibly melodic bass of Gary Lunn winds through the piece with the dexterity of some kind of aural reptile. Eric Copeland’s keys and programming support the underbelly of the music while the rock-solid drums by John Hammond propels everything forward. Additional loops and programming are provided by Jeff Savage.
“Deep Pockets,” while ‘new’ as a Player A tune, was originally slated for Our Own Devices but ended up as “Drew’s Blues” on guitarist Drew Davison’s Spin Cycle project. Here, the song features tasteful, fluid, intricate guitar passages by Mark Baldwin, who turns in a stunning solo skillfully straddling both blues and jazz. Copeland’s soulful and funky organ solo is also a highlight on the track.
The amazing Tom Hemby guests on the other ‘new’ track, “Yin and Yang.” His incredibly subtle funky lines melt their way through the tapestry of the song and emerge full-strength for a sweet solo at about the half-way point. The song’s tight, funky groove and interesting time signature are well served by Scott Williamson’s drums.
The sophisticated funk of “Chillest” (Savage Remix) features fine solos by all involved and a tasty turn behind the drum kit by Dan Needham. This is followed by “Coming Back On” (a remix of Player A’s successful “Coming On”) and the powerhouse “Sleekness Revisited,” a monster track with tight, funky, infectious horn lines and great guitar/sax interplay.
With Devices, Techniques, & Mechanisms, Player A gives us something old, something new, something borrowed, and – yes, even something blue …but always with a smooth touch of jazz. The EP is produced and conceived by Eric Copeland, mixed by Bill Whittingham, and mastered by Randy LeRoy, with plenty of remixing magic by Jeff Savage.
Go to: www.facebook.com/express.image to see the concert photography of Bert Saraco
4 ½ TOCKS