Saxophonist Andy Snitzer is ready for another round. The Rhythm (Native Language, 2013) is the promising follow-up to Traveler (2011), which peaked in the top 10 of Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart, scoring two top-five singles.
Snitzer has been a member of the Rolling Stones’ Voodoo Lounge and Bridges to Babylon world tours, and since 1999 a member of Paul Simon’s band. He has performed in several genres, having dates with such acts as Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Vanessa Williams, Nancy Wilson, Jay-Z, Jane Monheit and Christina Aguilera.
“Candy,” the first single, sets the tone for the entire set. This groove is punctuated by cool bass of James Genus with the horn section of Jim Hynes and Tony Kadleck on trumpets, and Michael Davis on trombone. Alain Mallet on keys, Bernd Schoenhart on guitar and Michael White on drums complete the lineup. Snitzer leads the way on tenor, playing happily.
“Caso De Amor” is a charming ballad that has a slight, South American flavor. Graham Hawthorne takes over drum duties, with Tim Lefebvre on bass and Chuck Loeb on guitar. Co-producer David Mann adds a lovely background string arrangement. Snitzer’s play conjures visions of an easygoing, nighttime drive along the beach with moonlight glistening off the water’s surface. There’s even a passage after Loeb’s middle solo where the music softens, and one can almost hear the waves crash upon the shore. The song has a Getz/Gilberto bossa nova vibe.
In addition to saxophone, Snitzer plays keyboards and provides MIDI programming. Mann injects woodwinds, string arrangements and MIDI programming. Some of the other personnel on this date are Shawn Pelton, drums; Teddy Kumpel, guitar; and Till Bronner, trumpet.