The disc falls short of perfect: there's a degree of sameness that runs through some of the songs, despite - or maybe because of - the sometimes self-conscious virtuosity. Nonetheless this is a superb debut.
Keith Killgo, This World
This release from jazz/fusion drummer Keith Killgo is a curious but satisfying mix of fusion, R&B, rock, and a bit of blues, with contributions from a number of great musicians including vocalist Sam Smith, guitarist Larry Coryell, saxman Joe Henderson, and Donald Byrd himself, in whose group the Blackbyrds Killgo was a fixture in the 1970s. Sometimes when a drummer or bassist steps up as leader, the group loses the big picture on what makes a song, or an arrangement, appealing. Not so here - Killgo's drumming is a star here, but not a pushy one. Highlights include "Kojo Blues" with Sam Smith on vocals, Javon Jackson's buttery sax on "Round About Midnight," and "Sparkle Byrd" which features Byrd's trumpet.