Bordering on the progressive rock soundscapes of Pink Floyd and treading the line of Pat Metheny-inspired jazz fusion, guitarist Jeff Richman blends the two factions to make for an amalgam loaded with energy on his latest release, Sizzle. From beginning to closing, the recording emits a kinetic pulse in the fiery chord movements of Richman’s guitar. Joining Richman is a team of musicians who share the guitarist’s impassioned nature, creating a power rock-based jazz fusion.
Whipping drum thrusts are augmented by scorching guitar licks and churning horns through “Hit Parade,” making for a blustery mixture, which cools down to an ambling stroll along “Samaya” as Taylor Eigsti’s piano keys twinkle gracefully against the gentle current of Vinnie Colaiuta’s drumbeats. “Oracle” combines a bluesy soul swagger in the guitar hooks as Colaiuta’s splashing drums are supported by heavy bass pumps. Richman’s guitar riffs stoke a romantic flame through “Just 4U,” switching to a bluesy twang in “Jimmy Palm” as Mitchell Forman’s synth halos the piece in light, luminous tones.
The funky grooves embedded in the title track provide a foundation for the improvised guitar licks and fashion a jubilant atmosphere through “Sweet” that is conducive to the soul jazz texture of the guitar chords. “Vibe” keeps the dance pulse going in the sleek rhythmic movements and simmers to a balmy ambience through “Say It Isn’t So.”
Jeff Richman’s professional background as a musician spans over 35 years. His cache encompasses both composing original works and performing live nationally and internationally, in addition to arranging and recording music for a multitude of genres and teaching in various academic settings. He has studied privately with Pat Metheny, Mick Goodrick, and William Levitt. Their influence inspired Richman to develop his own voice within the jazz fusion spectrum, honing his skills as a recording artist and live performer. Sizzle is Richman’s 17th solo recording and brings together his experiences and influences as a guitar fusion enthusiast.
Jeff Richman – guitar, Jimmy Haslip – bass, Vinnie Colaiuta – drums, George Whitty – keys/programming, Gergo Borlai – drums/programming, Jeff Beal – trumpet, Taylor Eigsti – piano, Bob Mintzer – tenor saxophone, Mitchell Forman – Fender Rhodes, and Will Lee – bass
“Sizzle,” “Hangtown,” “Sweet,” “Vibe,” “Say It Isn’t So,” “Hit Parade,” “Samaya,” “Oracle,” “Just 4U,” “Jimmy Palm”