Unitone Recordings was created by noted pop songwriter/producer (and huge jazz aficionado) Patrick Leonard to give "fall between the cracks" artists an opportunity to gain an audience that does not pledge allegiance to one specific subgenre or another. A consummate sideman, Steve Tavaglione's debut is the perfect Unitone release, not poppy and groovy enough to be smooth jazz but also not crazy, free-form, and edgy enough to be real jazz fusion. The focus is on some terrific melodies and solid ensemble interaction, along with a multitude of moodswings. On the atmospheric, ambient, and spacious "Mirrors," the saxman muses gracefully over the gentle flügelhorn and acoustic piano work of labelmate Jeff Beal. "Arabesque" has an easy funk flavor about it, reminiscent of Flim & the BBs, with Tavaglione's melodic tenor swinging coolly over the rhythm section of Dave Carpenter and Gary Novak; Beal's trumpet adds a Miles-esque flair here. "Eclipsis" is what happens when spacey atmospheres join with Alex Acuna's wild, tribal percussion; the tune kind of rambles until Tavaglione eases in with his sharp soprano weaves. "Threw Me for a Loop" features a low-tone tenor intertwined with Beal's lazy muted trumpet, then turns even more interesting when Beal turns on the synth organ accents. Bassist John Patitucci wrote the dreamy "Love," which plays like a gentle lullaby amidst the unusual adventures. This is the kind of disc that will bring stubborn fans who usually like one type of jazz over another together.
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AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran