Erskine, Peter and the DR. UM Band: Second Opinion
Jazz drummer extraordinaire Peter Erskine and his DR. UM Band is back with a new release titled Second Opinion. Joining Erskine are John Beasley (keyboards), Bob Sheppard (saxes, flutes) and Benjamin Shepherd (basses).
Erskine began his jazz career in the early seventies with the Stan Kenton Orchestra before joining Weather Report a few years later and after that the jazz fusion group Steps Ahead. Along the way he has also been a major contributor to ECM Records putting out a number of releases.
On his new album the tunes are a mixture of originals and covers all expertly played by this very talented quartet. I love the laid back sound here, a perfect example being the first track "Hipnotherapy". A snazzy beat and infectious bass line with bouncy keys accentuate the bluesy jazz groove. The sax adds to the relaxed feel and the band's quintessential "L.A. sound". Melodic funky fusion can be heard on "Eleven Eleven" featuring Shepherd's outstanding bass work. "Street of Dreams" is a gentle dreamlike tune with piano and sax at the forefront. The Henry Mancini cover "Dreamsville" is another calming affair showcasing the band's exquisite instrumental finesse. The slow percolating electric piano and lazy groove puts a smile on my face every time. The ethereal flute lines and mellow sax from Sheppard adds to tune's laid back nature.
While Second Opinion is more laid back than much of the jazz fusion I have listened to lately it really is like a breath of fresh air. Fans of melodic jazz fusion really can't go wrong giving this a spin.
A Fuzzy Music release.
1. Hipnotherapy (7:44)
2. Eleven Eleven (4:59)
3. Street of Dreams (5:54)
4. Not So Yes (7:01)
5. Did It Have To Be You? (7:07)
6. Lida Rose (4:45)
7. Solar Steps (6:39)
8. Dreamsville (5:22)
9. Willow Weep For Me (7:42)
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