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Holz, Bob: Holz-Stathis Collaborative

Bob Holz has a lot of friends, as the guest list for the Holz-Stathis Collaborative is extensive and impressive. Instantly recognizable are names such as John McLaughlin, Jean-Luc Ponty, Randy Brecker and Darryl Jones to name a few.

I can’t express how important the opening track is to an album, I often find they become favorites, and once you grab my attention, I am going to be onboard for repeated listens. “The Tunnel” sets the tone with a funky bass courtesy of Ric Fierabracci, and the wonderful trumpet of Randy Brecker. Dean Brown plays a great solo as well that gets things really heated up. “World Turned Upside Down” surprisingly doesn’t offer the payoff one would expect since it features Ponty, McLaughlin and Ralphe Armstrong, I was waiting for the song to explode, but it just doesn’t get there. The one that really got me is “Side Scratch” with that funky rhythm guitar, great horn lines, give me more. “Volta” has a very traditional jazz feel and wonderful solo spots for guitar, sax, and the piano playing throughout. “You Can Get It” rights the ship with Brandon Fields again on Sax and some cool guitar riffing, as they started to lose me at the mid-point with some forgettable tracks.

The album features fine musicianship, and tuneful songs, but tracks like “Island Sun”, “Back To You”, “Wondering”, and “Better Try” are just too smooth and miss the mark. The remake of “Make Me Smile” was unnecessary; nothing is going to match the original, so why include it? The good stuff here is top notch, just listen to Jamie Glaser’s guitar and Karen Briggs violin on “Flight of Fancy” this is one of the smoking tracks. Unfortunately, the album is a mixed bag overall, there are too many tame tracks to elevate this to a memorable album.

Track List:
1. The Tunnel
2. Island Sun Love
3. Alex’s Dream
4. World Turned Upside Down
5. Side Scratch
6. Volta
7. Palo Viejo
8. Back To You
9. Wondering
10. You Can Get It
11. Better Try
12. Flight of Fancy
13. Make Me Smile
14. Lookin’ Back

Added: October 19th 2023
Reviewer: Eric Porter
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 406
Language: english

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