Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - Dave Wayne
It's not often that a debut CD by a young artist brims with great playing, complex, soulful compositions, and exceptional group chemistry. But that's exactly what happens on Geoff Vidal's She Likes That. Vidal is a young tenor saxophonist from New Orleans who - much like fellow Big Easy native Rob Wagner - wields a big, bluesy "bull tenor" in the mold of Tony Malaby, Clifford Jordan and Booker Ervin. On She Likes That, Vidal is backed by highly talented young players who imbue his excellent original compositions with fire and spontaneity.
Most noteworthy is the dynamic, creative drumming of Makaya McCraven. A busy, bold player, McCraven - whose father, Steven McCraven, is a drummer who's played with Sam Rivers, Arthur Blythe, and has led a few sessions of his own - has a crackling fresh, distinctive approach to the kit. Frequently, he refers to funky New Orleans second-line rhythms, as on the CD's opening track, "Darjeeling." Joe Hundertmark's finger-style guitar sound is a bit reminiscent of Kevin Eubanks. Like McCraven, Hundertmark is a no- holds-barred soloist whose non-jazz influences peek through Vidal's jazz-based music in an appealing way.
While Vidal and his band offer excellent playing and distinctive compositions throughout, She Likes That is one of those recordings that has that certain je ne sais quoi that keeps it in the changer, or on the iPod playlist, indefinitely. The entire CD literally explodes with creative energy and the sheer excitement and joy of music-making. More please! ... read more...