Sunday, 15 April 2012

Rob Whitlock - Sketchin' 2006


Format: ape + cue + log
Genre: Jazz Rock/Fusion
Original Release Date: 2005
Label: Sketchin' Records


Rob Whitlock's Sketchin' explores a wealth of styles, from jazz-blues fare and vintage tunes to Caribbean-flavored pieces and soul-jazz with a touch of gospel. Eclectic and diverse, Whitlock keeps the production palatable and accessible to the average listener. Although the musicians on this album are some of the best soloists and jazzers in the business, Whitlock manages to keep this bunch focused on the groove and feel of the music, as well as some featured highlights for each of them. The arrangements are tasteful and well executed. The record starts off with an energetic retro Herbie-esque piece; "At Golden Pawn" which features Rob soloing on synth over tracks of himself (and the other musicians) on B3 along with Michael Brecker's stellar horn stab stacks. "To Heather With Love" features a trip down memory lane with a CSI style string arrangement that has one reminiscing about the chill jazz of the 70's. "I Deal", a cooking little number is treated as an organ trio swing piece with an overlay of horns punctuating the songs highlights. A remake of a Billie Holiday classic "God Bless The Child," features Rob's wife, Amber Whitlock on expressive and smokey vocals and successfully, and surprisingly, finds a new and whimsical way to express the popular jazz classic. The song also features great and soulful sax work by Michael Brecker." Po Man's Gravy," dedicated to Mom, has that Texas Jazz/Crusader's vibe with a funky down home soulfood cookin' flava' of it's own. Featuring Jaco Pastorius famed steel pan player Othello Molineaux, "Rob's New Tune " has a South Florida Jazz/ Caribbean vibe that at once simmers and stews while cooling you like a subtropical breeze. The finale, and title cut "sketchin" features old pal from Florida days, Scott Henderson on a fierce bluesy fusion number featuring Scott's ripping guitar riffs along with Rob's hot organ comping and soloing, over Vinnie Colaiuta and Anthony Jackson's deepest fat groovin' shuffle. Playing the role of writer/arranger/producer/player of any project is a major undertaking, and Whitlock has risen to the challenge beautifully. This record was sucessfully made to be enjoyed for multiple listens, by jazz fans and musicians alike....

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