Steve Gadd Band: Gadditude (2013)
Gadditude finds the man of the hour fronting/backing a band that's been backing Taylor for years. Together, without Taylor, they deliver a program that's alternately about fun, feel and depth. Gadd's partners on this journeybassist Jimmy Johnson, trumpeter Walt Fowler , guitarist Michael Landau and keyboardist Larry Goldingsare all supremely gifted players with shared musical values, making them ideally suited for this project. They all know how to simply throw it down and have a good time ("The Windup"), but they're also capable of extreme sensitivity when the music calls for different-and-precise aural coloring ("Scatterbrain").
Gadditude moves from spacy to grounded and airy to dense as the members of the Steve Gadd Band demonstrates why they're the first call guys for so many other musicians. As the album takes flight, the light textured fusion of Landau's "Africa" leads to the mellow and intriguing "Ask Me Now." Things become more reflective when Gadd and company explore Keith Jarrett's "Country," recast in three here, but that mood doesn't linger; Goldings' "Cavaliero," which comes next, has a bit more bite, thanks in large part to Landau's guitar work. As the album continues, Gadd and his companions tackle the blues ("Green Foam"), add a dash of old school American soul to pianist Abdullah Ibrahim's music ("The Mountain"), and have a party on their return visit to Jarrett territory ("The Windup").
Gadd doesn't deliver any chops-heavy solos or eye-popping fills here, but he does what he does best: create grooves and rhythmic foundations that support the music and accentuate the core concepts of each song.
Track Listing: Africa; Ask Me; Country; Cavaliero; Green Foam; The Mountain; Who Knows Blues; The Windup; Scatterbrain.
Personnel: Steve Gadd: drums; Walt Fowler: trumpet, flugelhorn; Larry Goldings: keyboards; Jimmy Johnson: bass; Michael Landau: guitar(s); Arnold McCuller: vocals (3, 9); David Lasley: vocals (3, 9).
Record Label: BFM Jazz