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By The Water: Craig Schoedler (CD;48.37)

http://www.craigschoedler.com/

I first listened to bassist Craig Schoedler's
By The Water on a beautiful late fall afternoon
in New England, and it was the perfect accompaniment.
The compositions are of slow to medium tempo with
lots of space, allowing the musicians ample room to
improvise. The melodies are catchy and the vibe of
the disc is smooth - but not smooth jazz. Far from
it - more like the last few songs you'd hear in a
smoky nightclub at 3 a.m. before closing time. The
musicians are in a place where magic happens - and
that's what is captured on this disc. Schoedler is
pictured on the CD jacket with a Ken Smith 5-string
bass, which he uses magnificently throughout.

There are six songs on the disc - the shortest
clocking in at 6:42. The songs were all composed
and arranged by Craig. Three of the songs are
slightly reminiscent of some of Mike Stern's
recordings - which is a good thing - especially
since Stern's signature guitar tones are all over
those songs.  Stern and Vince Collela split the
guitar duties, playing on three cuts each  though
Collela forgoes solos for a supporting role.
Craig Schoedler's bass work is excellent
throughout; great ensemble work and tasty,
well-thought out solos.  Providing expert support
are Steve Jordan on drums, Tom Petroski on
keyboards and piano, and Ralph Bowen on tenor sax
and flute.  The keys played mainly a supporting
role, setting up an excellent soundscape for the
 improvisations of Schoedler, Stern, and Bowen.
Steve Jordan was, as usual, excellent. All in all,
highly recommended!

~Mark J. Rabuffo, EER-Music.com


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