Jim Cifelli – Groove Station
(Short Notice – 2005)
by Paula Edelstein
Trumpeter Jim Cifelli tunes you in to his GROOVE STATION and you’d be very wise to not touch that dial. Cifelli gets down with his sextet on eight in-the-pocket eclectic blues, jazz and funk performances that will have you out on the dance floor or in your seat with heads bobbing and feet patting. Cifelli’s Clifford Brown-styled trumpet chops are definitely what makes this set a keeper, but it’s the group’s interplay and daring improvisations that keeps it interesting. Opening with “Groove Station,” this song gets its funky tone from a brass section that is somewhat reminiscent of Tower of Power’s horn section or James Brown’s P-Funk section.
With great dynamics and registers that add a bold new aesthetic to his jazz style, Cifelli has obviously used a pen with a broader tip to bring new fans into his musical fold. “Young Dan,” with its walking basslines and swinging bebop flavor, is by far one of the best straight-ahead jazz songs on the set. The “Old School” groove Cifelli uses on the closing song is not only a stroke of jazz/rock/blues fusion skill, but harkens back to Miles Davis’ ON THE CORNER days and will make you feel like getting up to do the boogaloo! Dave Phelps guitar and wah-wah solo brings an even deeper appreciation to the music of a decade that so many have dismissed as unnecessary to the true jazz aesthetic. These cats are grooving and if you enjoy dancing or just kicking back and getting your groove on then check out the Groove Station.