Very much a celebratory occasion and one that finds legendary drummer Steve Gadd on home turf in a concert show in Rochester, New York State in 2015, this live recording of Gadd with his band (Walt Fowler on trumpet, Larry Goldings, keyboards, Jimmy Johnson, bass and Michael Landau, guitars) is full of groove and rhythm rocket science, Gadd in a league of his own at the kit, and has a comfortable life force to it that speaks good times and effortless sounding flow.
Bookended by Keith Jarrett’s ‘The Wind Up’ and Buddy Miles’ ‘Them Changes,’ the band and the audience are having fun and it’s captured well on the live DVD. A second DVD offers lots of appreciative words from family and friends but is less essential unless you simply want to bask in Gadd’s greatness.
If you enjoyed last year’s 70 Strong this is very much in the same vein, the same band and a few bits of overlapping material, notably Goldings’ ‘Sly Boots’ thrown in.
Gadd returns to Ronnie Scott’s from 3-8 October with much of the personnel on the record which itself is released just before the shows.
Reading reviews that remarked on the ‘immaculate simplicity’ and sheer distinctiveness of this album I was looking forward to jumping head first in here.
And yes there is the balmy atmosphere of a warm bath, the luxury of delving into antique genreless numbers unencumbered by the trouble to have had to live through the life and times of most of the songs themselves.
Spanning Stephen C Foster to Tom Waits, Willie Dixon to Linton Kwesi Johnson, Peyroux has the knack of making everything she sings thoroughly lived in and is strong on authenticity with that lazy drawl and homespun charm of hers.
The record is uncluttered, with just the guitar of Jon Herington and double bass of Barak Mori for company the three of them recording in an Oxfordshire church.
Cute and a little quaint there’s a rocking chair quality to a good deal of what’s on offer here. But if you’re not into snoozy indulgent reverie you might walk on by looking for a few more kicks some place else.