Stryker, Dave - Strykin' Ahead,
For this his 28th album as a band leader, Stryker has augmented his working trio of Jared Gold on organ and McClenty Hunter on drums with vibraphone player Steve Nelson. That he is a fine guitarist is never in doubt, but I found this whole album just too bland and laid back for my own tastes. This feels like a group of very clever jazz musicians just sat in a room and enjoying themselves, bouncing ideas off each other, but with little in terms of vitality and spark that makes music so immediate and effective. There is little in the way of dynamics, and this very soon becomes background music. I’ve actually listened to this album far more than I would normally to review something, as I was convinced that I had to be missing something and that for someone to have as long a career as Dave then I must be the one in the wrong, but each play has just cemented my initial opinion, more lounge jazz than the real thing.
Possibly late at night as background for conversation, but I can’t see this album ever being anything much more than that. Lots of others seem to like this, so it looks as if I’m in the minority again.