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Bill Hart Band: Live at Red Clay Theatre

Live at Red Clay Theatre is the latest album from the Bill Hart Band. The album was recorded live in Atlanta in 2017 and is the artist’s sixth release to date. This is my first exposure to the band.

The sextet includes Bill Hart (guitar), Pat Strawser (keyboards), Alex McGinnis (saxophone), Dwayne Wallace (bass), Steven Walker (drums) and Emrah Kotan (percussion). All are excellent players and it is easy to hear from this performance how well they have gelled as a band. Excellent grooves and solos abound starting with “Beachside Isle”, a fine bit of melodic jazz fusion. The rhythm section is outstanding adding lots of power and the rest of the band is up to the challenge including excellent electric piano, guitar and sax solos. The musicianship is outstanding. Next is “Jim Gilligan”, not near as furious as the first track and features Bill Hart’s lovely lyrical guitar and dream-like keyboards filling in the back. A rocking guitar intro begins “Deep Skies”, another fluid and deeply grooved piece. I couldn’t help tapping my feet to this one. Walker’s drums are heavy and dynamic driving the song forward but each band member carries an integral role. Just listen to Wallace’s outstanding bass playing to get an idea of the talent here. The album’s longest track is the slow moving “This Is Why” featuring one of Hart’s prettiest solos on the disc. The dreamy saxophone solo is also a highlight and is one of the tastiest moments here. The band really start to cook during the song’s latter half. The trippy keyboard solo in “Spazio Aperto” is another stellar moment.

Live at Red Clay Theatre is an excellent live document of a jazz fusion band hitting its stride at full speed. This has been a great introduction to a very talented group of musicians.

Track Listing:
1. Beachside Isle (7:52)
2. Jim Gilligan (7:32)
3. Deep Skies (5:50)
4. Sara’s Song (7:02)
5. That’s Purdy (7:31)
6. Canadese Africano (7:05)
7. This Is Why (10:58)
8. Spazio Aperto (9:53)
9. Elected (8:49)

Added: January 17th 2019
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1319
Language: english

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