Saturday, October 29, 2011

CD Review: Cinque “Catch A Corner”


Catch a Corner

New kids on the “jazz” block? Never heard of them? Well think again. Cinque is five heavy hitters laying down a vibe that is both mellow and funky and oh, so welcome.

Cinque may be a Latin word denoting ‘five’ in Italian but the connotation hear is the collective brilliance of Joey DeFrancesco, considered by some to be  the best Hammond B3 player in jazz, Steve Gadd, the first call drummer for such legends as Eric Clapton, Steely Dan, Paul Simon and Chick Corea. Then there’s Robi Botos who was Oscar Peterson’s daughter’s piano teacher…at the request of Oscar himself. Botos has tickled the ivories for the likes  of Chaka Khan and James Blood Ulmer. John Johnson is laying down that soulful sax just the way he has for Aretha Franklin, The Queen Of Soul, Dianne Reeves and Diana Krall. We are saving the best for last, which is quite naturally the bass player. Hey, being a bass player, I always say they are the best,but I actually might be on the mark this time. Peter Cardinali is the master of the lowdown on this great album. He also is the producer and arranger and has worked with some monsters of the art. Oscar Peterson, Rick James, The Brecker Brothers, Ray Charles, Toots Thielmans etc…

The tunes? You wanna hear about the tunes? Fine. We have eight tracks of ear candy, six of them, I am told, were written collectively on the fly, in the studio, which CAN happen when you have a bass player in charge, …and you have filled the band with pure genius. And those tunes feel spontaneous, vibrant and alive.

“Bolivia” by Cinque

From the opening, “Conflicting Advice” which contrary to the title, feels anything but conflicting. It’s a funky little, danceable display of what’s to come. The sax led arrangement is airy and open, and Mr. Gadd lays down a solid beat, the piano solo is perfect and the bass, naturally holds down the bottom end with just enough slap and growl. The organ, ahh, the organ. tasty fellers. “Geppetto’s Blues” is as the title would suggest, bluesy and the sax gets low and dirty. “Saturday Night, Sunday Morning” is going to church with a hangover, but you don’t regret it one damn bit.

Then comes “Two Worlds”. This one has a Latin feel to it, as Gadd does all the right things and pulls out some percussion toys. Then comes the title song, “Catch A Corner”, Catch a corner is a euphemism for finding a place to hang out with friends, and that pretty much describes the album. Five guys, relaxed and doing what they do best.

“Over The Humpty Dump” is the last of the one take, recorded live off the floor original tunes. It allows two giants of the keys, albeit on different types of keys, to trade licks but never step on each others, errr….fingers.

They finish the album off with a Cedar Walton tune, “Bolivia” which is a great little tune with a quick little pater rhythm where Gadd and Cardinali really lock on to each other to produce a little magic that only the most in touch drums/bass can do. The last tune is Paul Simons “Still Crazy After All These Years” in a funky little treatment that Paul maybe wouldn’t have envisioned, but but would love.

Do your ears a big favor, go Catch a Corner and kick it with some friends.


The Dirty Lowdown

Copyright © 2011 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved

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