ALBUM OF THE WEEK I was curious to discover whether the rest of the album is as good as the initial pleasingly soppy teaser ‘Crush’ which is the first track here. ‘Down South’ had me thrown a googly initially because I thought the album was just going to be given the smooth jazz treatment which obviously would have proved a disaster. Thankfully no. Janek Gwizdala’s bass guitar comes through and what a monstrously take-no-prisoners rich sound it is, the drummer going behind the beat very expertly and the recorded sound proving crisp and detailed even on a democratically inexpensive non-high end stream. 

Reynolds is new to me: he has been John Mayer's sax player and is in the ever growing Snarky Puppy family. Soon they will be the size of Belgium and eventually France. Reynolds has eight albums out already apparently. A few visits to obscure record shops are surely in order over the next 10 years to track these down. I will not resist the temptation to quote King Arthur from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. “Old crone! Is there anywhere in this town where we could buy a shrubbery?” 

A bit of liner note background: “Bob first met bassist Janek Gwizdala 20 years ago when they both attended the Berklee College Of Music.”

“Reynolds met drummer Chaun Horton ten years ago after moving to Los Angeles.”

Ruslan Sirota maybe familiar to you, distantly, from the Stanley Clarke band is the pianist and sadly does not get much of a mention in the liner notes but is a vital presence who adds lots of vibrant colour to a very heart on sleeve sound.

Recorded 14 months ago in LA Gwizdala who has Pino Palladino-level chops but sounds nothing like him apart from the great quality of his only occasionally gungho instincts embarks on ‘Hollywood Start Up’ and then it is Sirota’s chance to shine and thankfully he dutifully does just that. Top tip: Get the headphones on and sail away. Is the album as good as the initial teaser? No. It is all hype aside even better. SG

Out now. ****. Or go mad and enjoy yourself by beating a suitable trail to The Sugar Club, Dublin on 22 May.

updated 22 May 2018