by Roland Freerier
One of the best fusion artists this year – that would be this CD folks, Jeff Richman’s Hotwire. Featuring Richman along with an all-star lineup of musicians and produced by legendary bassist Jimmy Haslip. The incredible musicality of this project blew me away from track one. The song writing is excellent, but Jeff’s melodic playing is just a joy to listen to. Listening to each tune, you hear Jeff pouring his heart into every phrase and the sound he coaxes out of his guitar is beyond measure of what is on the market in fusion today. I have bought a lot of fusion CDs in the past couple of years, this one really shines.
The band Jeff has put together and their sound and sense of “gel” is one of utmost quality. Each musicians kicks butt! Very impressive cuts are: “Hit Spot,” “Seven Up,” “Oh Yeah,” “North Shore,” “Solar City,” and “Miles Per Hour” the later features Mike Stern as a guest guitarist and he is brilliant as usual. Jeff’s distinctive writing style and unique guitar vocabulary makes this project have a perfect cohesive mix!
Hotwire proves to the jazz fusion world and listeners, that there is still something worth listing to! I feel the jazz fusion genre these past couple years has been very lame and really not satisfactory for the jazz musician’s ear. Hotwire it’s well worth it, overall an excellent, excellent CD.
Players: Guitar:Jeff Richman; Drums: Vinnie Colaiuta, Gary Novak, Gergo Borlai; Bass: Jimmy Haslip, Anthony Jackson, Dean Taba; Keyboards: George Whitty, Scott Kinsey, Mitchel Forman, Jeff Lorber, Gary Fukashima; Horns: Brandon Fields, Jeff Beal. Special guest: Guitar: Mike Stern.