Rob Garcia

Place of Resonance

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It would be prudent to suggest that bassist Michael Formanek and pianist Dave Kikoski are noteworthy modern jazz denizens, whether leading their respective bands or enjoying first-call session status. However, drummer Rob Garcia, along with the other instrumentalists who perform here, represents part of a budding New York City-based microcosm of jazz-based explorers. On this outing, Garcia leads a sextet for a sequence of largely mid-tempo swing motifs, marked by his buoyant accompaniment and intelligent employment of dynamics. The band's calling card is rooted within flutist Michel Gentile's sparkling and at times peppery flute work during unison choruses with tenor saxophonist Matt Renzi. Violinist Miri Ben-Ari adds some luster and an edge to this production via her performances on three pieces. The soloists receive ample soloing room atop these generally perky arrangements, brimming with tightly coordinated rhythmic passages and an open air-type sound. Formanek renders a lyrically charged solo on the opening track, "My Cats Are Gone" (a song of loss), whereas Renzi and Gentile execute precisely stated linear progressions and harmonically rich motifs. Needless to state, Garcia is onto something here, but one of the minor drawbacks emanates from the lack of clearly defined melodies. Essentially, many of these works seem interconnected amid slight deviations, as some of the passages lack memorable themes and seem primarily constructed upon various riffs. But when viewed as a whole, Place of Resonance makes for an enjoyable listening experience.

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