Don Grusin's rousing blend of acoustic piano passion and electric synth energy allows him to create an amazingly diverse experience on this recording. The keyboardist's album may be called Zephyr, defined by Oxford as a "gentle wind," but with a few exceptions, this is a Brazilian/Latin spiced hurricane of a collection. Grusin's compositions are full of toe tapping surprises, but the shows his real strength by placing his keyboards and the steamy saxes of Ernie Watts and Eric Marienthal over the percussive inspirations of Tom Brechtlein and Alex Acuna. Violinist Jerry Goodman also takes a romance filled solo. As with the previous year's Raven, Zephyr takes the ordinary melodic pop jazz and twists it into refreshing world beat groove. There are a few drawbacks. Most of the slower numbers come as letdowns to the jamming tone Grusin sets, and the vocal shared by Carl Anderson and Lou Pardini is too silly to be taken seriously.
by Jonathan Widran