Dave Stryker had a working group with drummer Tony Reedus, though he is not present as he died suddenly from a pulmonary embolism two weeks prior to the session. Steve Williams is an excellent replacement, while the third member of the trio is the in-demand young organist Jared Gold. Stryker chose a diverse playlist, including a breezy midtempo bop setting of "Pure Imagination" (penned for the soundtrack to the film Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) and Gilbert O'Sullivan's seemingly unpromising "Alone Again (Naturally)," which the guitarist tackles very deliberately in an understated fashion, revealing the possibilities within its melody (though thankfully without having to hear its weak lyrics). Williams' brushwork introduces the perky arrangement of "Make Someone Happy" (a favorite of the late pianist Bill Evans), while Stryker's choosing to alternate between two time signatures adds a unique touch to his interpretation of "For All We Know." The guitarist appreciates modern jazz compositions as well, delivering an exotic treatment of Woody Shaw's "Zoltan" and Wayne Shorter's catchy "Nefertiti." Stryker salutes his late drummer with "One for Reedus," a soulful affair with a solid groove.
One For Reedus Review
by Ken Dryden