Dave Stryles / Steve Slagel – The Stryles Slagel Band
The Stryker Slagel Band
(Khaeon – 2003)
by Paula Edelstein
Dave Stryker, who has often been compared to such great guitarists as John Abercrombie, Ralph Towner, John Scofield and Bill Frisell, co-leads with alto & soprano saxophonist Steve Slagle to offer their fans a decent set of both new and previously recorded compositions. The self-titled THE STRYKER SLAGLE BAND also features Tim Horner on drums and Bill Moring on bass The set opens with “Nothin’ Wrong With It” a laid-back but hard grooving piece. Stryker’s effective guitar ideas co-exist with Slagle’s tight, zesty horn riffs that state the melody and then provide space for suspended rhythmic devices and irresistible free jazz chords from bassist Bill Moring.
“Child’s Play” features the energetic hard bop of Slagle’s alto with a hard-edged tone that segues into Stryker’s breezy guitar chords that are bluesy yet exploding with jazz sensibilities. Syncopation abounds with Horner’s deft accompaniment. This is by far one of the best compositions on the CD. Other honorable mentions include “Hands of the Sculptress” a dedication to Horner’s wife and “Every Dark Street” which is a blues that definitely backs up the claim that Stryker and Slagle are melodic, inventive, and rhythmically rich in whatever genre they choose to play.