Today’s the day, jazzheads. The jazz-rock guitar god that is Jeff Richman just put out his 15th solo album entitled, “Like That,” to immediate, critical acclaim.
Weeks before the CD’s August 17th release date, some of us in the press eagerly welcomed advanced copies and found ourselves awestruck by the full-bodied, lyrical turns in each of the 10 tracks Richman composed. From the first, “Like That’s” loping, jazz-funk number featuring Richman’s artful electric guitar, Will Kennedy’s drumming, and Dean Taba’s bass – to the last, “Truffaz’s” light, lively showcase of the Berklee grad’s intricate ability to carve out deep, fat, resonant notes with Deron Johnson’s shadowy Fender Rhodes, the jazz fans in the press couldn’t get enough.
Here’s some love from Mark S. Tucker from Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange: “Richman can stretch and purr like a cat in afternoon sun or pounce like a panther, it all depends on his mood. … Richman prefers Strats and Telecasters, so you get a pronounced electric edge in his playing, a fat warm distortion well leashed and distilled like brandy, the result of an atomic physicist who knows how to make electrons behave.”
Midwest Record’s short review is no less flattering, all but endorsing anything that comes out of Jeff Richman’s studio of the mind: “Richman’s guest list on this set are a load of cats you would love to turn up at your session, but in the end, the focus is on Richman and his ax. Killer contemporary jazz that cooks from start to finish, Richman and his cronies are on point throughout like the pros they are.”
And no wonder. While lesser, aspiring jazz guitarists often sound as if they’re doing runs before the downbeat, Jeff Richman plays every tune fully, masterfully, no fooling. Every tune on this CD is complete, a harmonic jazz lover’s dream, combined with a rhythmic beginning, middle and end of lyrical and musical storylines, moods and plenty of room for the other, top-notch musicians to add their licks in.
Almost as impressive as Richman himself is his choice of band for the CD recording. Get a load of these guys: Alex Acuna (percussion), William Kennedy (drums), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Steve Hass (drums), Dean Taba (bass), Neil Stubenhaus (bass), Deron Johnson (Fender Rhodes), Mitchel Forman (keys), and Larry Goldings (organ). Their inclusion and Richman’s collaborative spirit make this almost a full quartet experience with every song.
For more info: Every jazz technique is used to wondrous effect on Jeff Richman’s “Like That.” There are several online sites to choose from, in terms of downloadable purchases and the like: CD Baby, Amazon.com, CD Universe, iTunes, and Abstract Logix for starters. Look for a review from me in the coming weeks. Tomorrow, a profile.