July 13, 2024

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CD review: Dave Stryker – As We Are 2021: Video, CD cover

It’s my dream project,” Dave Stryker repeats several times in a conversation about his 34th release as a leader, As We Are, on which the guitar master addresses one of the few configurations he hasn’t tackled during 40-plus years in the jazz trenches.

Stryker, not predisposed to hyperbole, isn’t exaggerating. How else to describe an opportunity to record a suite of new originals with a band propelled by all-world bass-drum partners John Patitucci and Brian Blade, fleshed out by harmonically erudite pianist Julian Shore’s bespoke string quartet arrangements that include room for a couple of soaring violin solos by the luminous Sara Caswell? Stimulated by the chance to make music together after long isolation, all members interact with crackling, pent-up energy.

1. Overture (1:10)
2. Lanes (feat. Brian Blade) (6:13)
3. River Man (feat. Sara Caswell) (8:58)
4. Hope (feat. John Patitucci) (6:28)
5. Saudade (feat. Julian Shore) (5:52)
6. One Thing at a Time (feat. Julian Shore) (7:17)
7. As We Were (feat. John Patitucci) (5:45)
8. Dreams Are Real (7:18)
9. Soul Friend (feat. Sara Caswell) (6:52)

Dave Stryker – guitar
Julian Shore – piano
John Patitucci – bass
Brian Blade – drums

String Quartet:
Sara Caswell – violin 1 (solo, tracks 3 and 9)
Monica K.Davis – violin 2
Benni von Gutzeit – viola
Marika Hughes – cello

Dave Stryker: As We Are album review @ All About Jazz

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