Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dave Stryker Organ Quartet

Jazz guitarist Dave Stryker is playing at Cecil's Jazz Club, 364 Valley Road in West Orange, Friday and Saturday this week, 9 to 1:30 p.m. What I know of him is mainly from press releases and his own, very thorough website. But I'm impressed with the recordings that I listened to there. Stryker has about 20 CDs out under his own name, a number of them on the European SteepleChase label. But he's also an distinguished sideman with a lengthy discography that includes Stanley Turrentine, Jack McDuff, and Kevin Mahogany.

I think the casual jazz listener will find a lot to like in Stryker's mellow intensity and tasteful solos. The more sophisticated will (hopefully) notice a compelling intellect at work, within a style that mixes mainstream and old-school fusion approaches.

Stryker was again voted a Rising Star in Downbeat's 2007 Critic's Poll. How established do you have to be to be pushed out of the running for "Rising Star"? What constitutes "rising"? Ah well, since we can find joy in simply listening to Stryker's music, maybe such silly categorizations don't really matter.

Here's a hot jam with his organ trio--Bobby Floyd, organ, Jonathan Higgins, drums--excerpted from a 2008 DVD.

The quartet appearing at Cecil's will include Stephen Riley, tenor sax,
Jared Gold, organ and Steve Williams, drums. Call Cecil's for more info at (973) 736-4800.


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