In over three years since the last Bruce Katz Band CD the music has developed and perhaps matured, now a four piece the group's new album "Three Feet Off The Ground" is tighter and more revealing of their influences and direction. Those influences are disparate, from the obvious delta blues, to the less obvious Thelonious Monk and Mile Davies.
The album consists of eleven solid tracks lasting a total of just over 57 minutes. Things get off to a goo start with a swinging blues number "Beef Jerky", where we get the first glimpse of the depth of Katz's love affair with the Hammond B-3 Organ. This is followed by the longest track on the disk (7:16), a mellow more jazzy number "in The Shadow" has Katz's piano is nicely counterpointed by Kasper's fine guitar work. "Wrecking Ball" is another fine track with Blake Newman showing that the acoustic bass may still have an influential place in a modern four-piece band.
This is followed by perhaps the two best tracks on the album. "Way Down Time" is a night time track that develops throughout its 6:24, this is where the jazz influence is most keenly felt, the rich complex sounds seem to hark back to some jazz of the seventies, Kasper's guitar work, certainly reminds me at times of George Benson's work in that era. "Three Feet Off The Ground" has a bluesier feel with each musician given ample scope to display their skills, the guitar is a bit harder now, with Katz ably switching from piano
to B-3, this is another cool track.
The album continues with more good music with all four musicians given further scope, "The Hook" probably best displays Rosen's work on the drums, a real strong well maintained beat. "Switchin'" nicely concludes the album with fine work all round, particularly Rosen and Katz on the B-3.
This is a well-produced and most enjoyable album, it keeps your attention as the tracks develop but doesn't blast you away. I hope I soon get the chance to see them live, and I look forward to their next album.
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