Stryker / Slagle “Routes” smolder, stomp, quietly reflect and encounter joyously the 4 horn charts devised by Slagle. It’s an edgy, funky, soulful, angular yet straight ahead expression of some pretty hip music, start to finish, which is how you should approach this one.
- Gary Walker, WBGO music director
Artist: The Stryker / Slagle Band Expanded
Label: Strikezone Records 8813
Artists Website: www.davestryker.com / steveslagle.com Release Date: February 5, 2016
UPC Code: 888295 383325 Track listing, track times:
1. City of Angels – Steve Slagle (Slagle Music BMI) 5:24
2. Nothin’ Wrong With It – Dave Stryker (D. Strike Music BMI) 6:07
3. Self-Portrait in Three Colors – Charles Mingus (Jazz Workshop Inc) 6:38
4. Routes – Dave Stryker (D. Strike Music BMI) 7:30
5. Ft. Greene Scene – Steve Slagle (Slagle Music BMI) 5:46
6. Great Plains – Dave Stryker (D. Strike Music BMI) 5:35
7. Extensity – Steve Slagle (Slagle Music BMI) 5:57
8. Gardena – Steve Slagle (Slagle Music BMI) 7:36
9. Lickety Split Lounge – Dave Stryker (D. Strike Music BMI) 7:44
Dave Stryker - guitar
Steve Slagle - alto saxophone (soprano sax #2, flute #3, #6) John Clark - french horn
Billy Drewes - tenor saxophone and bass clarinet (#2, #3) Clark Gayton - trombone and tuba (#3, #6)
Bill O'Connell - piano and fender rhodes (#2, #5, #6) Gerald Cannon - bass
McClenty Hunter - drums
Horn Arrangements by Steve Slagle
Produced by: Dave Stryker and Steve Slagle
Executive Producer: Rick Simpson
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by: Chris Sulit at Trading 8's Studio, Paramus NJ Recorded December 14-15, 2015
Front Cover Painting: “Columbus Circle” by Gerald Cannon www.cannonmusicnart.com
On their latest recording, guitarist Dave Stryker and saxophonist Steve Slagle explore the Routes they've travelled, and the musical Roots they've explored in their creative collaboration of several decades. The Stryker / Slagle Band is expanded to include some imaginative and innovative 4-horn writing by Steve Slagle in an all-original program by Dave and Steve, as well as a Mingus masterpiece.
Some good things go right on, others change but are still wonderful. This terrific album is great news on both counts. What stays in place is that Stryker and Slagle remain the soul-satisfying, deep-groove, superchops players they've been across decades, and they continue to manifest their extraordinary collaborative powers. These guys get each other, and you hear it phrase by phrase over their careers. They've often been on each other's many projects, and all the more to the point is the magnificent series of quartet albums under the heading The Stryker/Slagle Band that has produced some of the hardest driving, most musically adventurous, and outright joyous music on the planet.
What does change electrifyingly in this new project is that the Stryker/Slagle Band's classic quartet format goes to an expanded lineup with keyboard and three additional horns. Slagle has written brilliant, multi-textured, engaging, flavorful horn arrangements that repay repeated listening. You keep hearing new things. Superb keyboardist Bill O'Connell is present on acoustic piano or Fender Rhodes on all but one track, and three ace horn players join the mix: Billy Drewes on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet, John Clark on French horn, and Clark Gayton on trombone and tuba. Since Stryker is often a single-line voice in the ensemble and Slagle doubles on alto and soprano saxophone and flute, the tonal colors multiply. Driving the band with constant, ripping energy are bassist Gerald Cannon and drummer McClenty Hunter, who also weigh in with riveting solos Increasing the richness of this dazzling project is that Stryker and Slagle have written songs they associate with the complex geographical and personal routes they've traveled to arrive in their present lives. Touchingly, then, this album is also all about roots. Both coasts and the Midwest come directly into focus, and the album's song titles and music movingly and impressively turn all of that power loose.
(edited liner notes from Rick Simpson)
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