Jeff Golub – Grand Central
(Narada – 2007)
by Ray Redmond
Jeff Golub’s new release (his seventh solo album) is full of fire and energy. It has a distinct New York City vibe and manages to capture the artist in his own unique element. Most of the tracke are produced by Golub and Steven Miller (a couple of tracks were produced by Rick Braun and Paul Brown) and the result is a chart-hopping smooth jazz CD. The CD was mostly recorded with a live band in a New York studio by musicians Golub jams and improvises with at around NYC, so the performances are comfortable and natural. Golub wrote or co-wrote nine new tracks for the CD in addition to covering classics by Sly Stone (“If You Want Me To Stay”), George Harrison (“Something”) and my favorite “Ain’t No Woman Like the One I Got” which Golub and Richard Elliott deliver with energy and strength that gives simple justice to the original.
There are a few guest appearances on this great CD including the swinging groove “Mojito” which is highlighted by the stylings of Philippe Saisse and the downtempo, bluesy “Slinky” with sax strongman Kirk Whalum. Other visitors include Braun (trumpet, flugelhorn), Stephen Ferrone (drums), Mitchell Foreman (keyboards) and Luis Conte (percussion).
As Golub puts it… “Part of being a New Yorker is that you’re in a state of constant communication with people. Sometimes words are spoken. Sometimes the communication is just a glance or an unspoken acknowledgement on a subway train, while in line at a newsstand or as you brush past someone in a corner grocer. I wanted this album to capture the constant communication between musicians: the sometimes overt dialogue as well as the subtle exchanges. I embrace living in New York City and I think Grand Central has got a real New York vibe to it.”
Catch the vibe.