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Project Grand Slam: Made In New York

Project Grand Slam is the brainchild of bassist Robert Miller having formed the band in 2007. Miller has been around the fusion and jazz scene for a number of years, beginning his studies under the tutelage of Jimmy Garrison, bass player for John Coltrane. In the '70s he formed the fusion band Sagov, a mainstay of the Boston jazz scene. His new album Made In New York under the Project Grand Slam moniker is their third release. Previous releases include Play (2008) and Spring Dance (2014).

The players are:
Robert Miller (bass)
Marcello Casagrandi (keyboards)
Nathan Cepelinski (saxophones)
Joel E. Mateo (drums and percussion)
Ben Sher (guitar)
Willy Rodriguez (drums on "Fire" and "The Winner")
Kat Robichaud (vocals on "New York City Groove" and "Fire")

Lately I have been listening to a fair amount of fusion and Made In New York is one of the easiest to absorb and I don't mean that in a negative way. Miller's band combines jazz, rock and fusion in an incredibly digestible sound. The band sounds great right from the get go with "New York City Groove", an irresistible slice of melodic fusion with grooving bass and tasty guitar and sax trading solo spots. The sultry vocals of Kat Robichaud are a perfect match. More delicious fusion can be found in "The Winner". Choppy guitar rhythms and melodic sax work form the core of the song. In "Around The Horn" the tempo is a little slower with its slinky groove and jazzy piano motifs. The lovely piano ballad "The Gift (Juliet's Song)" has an aura of sentimentality with its heartwarming melody and gorgeous sax solo. A remake of the Hendrix classic "Fire" is another winner, again featuring the soulful vocals of Robichaud.

Made In New York, to put it simply, is a damn fine album with great grooves and unforgettable melodies. Top shelf stuff for sure!

Track Listing:
1. New York City Groove
2. The Winner
3. Around The Horn
4. The Gift (Juliet's Song)
5. Fire
6. Boston Common
7. Because She Said So (recorded 'live' at the Blue Note NYC)
8. Cakewalk For Debra (recorded 'live' at the Blue Note NYC)
9. New York City Groove (instrumental)

Added: January 31st 2016
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1729
Language: english

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