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The Gregory James Band: Come To Me

West Coast guitarist Gregory James has been seeking out and exploring new musical territory for more than twenty years and the latest release from his band called Come To Me certainly proves to be no exception. The music could be considered contemporary jazz but he successfully blends jazz roots with a veritable mélange of r&b, Afro-Cuban, flamenco and Eastern influences to create a sound that is fresh, new and generally difficult to categorize.

James collaborated on Come To Me with bassist Benny Rietveld (Santana, Miles Davis) and his presence is all over this disc as he not only lays down some heavy bottom end but he also produced and arranged the material as well. The real strength and appeal of this CD is the sheer size of their sonic landscapes. Many of the songs are layered and filled out with cellos, violins, flutes and even turntables to create just the right texture and mood. 5 of the songs are unique in that they feature different guest artists reading poems over the music, "Valentine", "Irené", "Jewel Silver (Bring Back Elvis)", "Alphabet Town" and "St. Alison" all receive this unique treatment. The track "Alphabet Town" is a standout at almost 7 minutes, featuring a funky backbeat complete with turntables, violin, tablas and sax while Catie Murphy reads from poet T.S. Eliot's "Rhapsody on a Windy Night". There are quite a few numbers which highlight James' technical prowess on the acoustic guitar and songs like "St. Alison" and the brilliant ensemble work in the John Coltrane-ish vibe of "Chant Odun" give the listener a great taste of his playing abilities. The funny thing with this disc is, although it's James' name on the marquee you never get the feeling that this is anything less than a true band effort. It's not about his own solo's, and he's got the chops to burn, as much as it is about placing the emphasis on his steller support cast and the songs themselves. Listen to Come To Me and marvel in music that celebrates cultural diversity, crosses borders and highlights top notch musicianship.

Track Listing
1) Valentine
2) Irené
3) Jewel Silver (Bring Back Elvis)
4) Duet #1
5) Come To Me
6) Chant Odun
7) Duet #2
8) Alphabet Town
9) Solo Contigo
10) St. Alison
11) Intermezzo
12) Tomorrow

Added: May 17th 2006
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Official Website
Hits: 3173
Language: english

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