Spendel - New York Groove
write a review about Christoph
Spendel is not easy. Christoph is a very active
musician, who has already played in more than 46 albums, which are
listed at his website www.spendel.com.
Inspecting these cds the problem is to find the right start .
Outlining a rough sketch we have to decide between the straight ahead
jazzer and the contemporary/smooth jazz musician. But this frame is
really too rough, if one listens to his diverse albums. Take for his
example his album "Jazz Meets Classic" with classic and jazz
elements, his album "The Art Of Piano Solo", on which he is
mixing jazz and hip hop incredients or his album "Electric
Bolero", declared as smooth-chill
Christoph has never shown touch-fears if it
came to connect jazz with pop music. A good example for his smooth
jazz attitude is the album "New York Groove" including
highlights of the three albums "Cool Street" (1992),
"Out Of Town" (1995) and "City Kids" (1996). It
was the period, when Christoph lived in New York and Germany
and became a member of the group Special EFX. He played as a
sideman on Chieli Minucci's album
"Jewels" (1995), was for a short time a member of The
Fantasy Band with musicians like Lionel Cordew, George Jinda,
John Lee, Chuck Loeb, David Mann, Marion Meadows, Dave Samuels
("The Fantasy Band", 1993) and toured worldwide with Special
speciality is the combination of piano, keyboards and drum machine to
a grooving synthesis. Phat
City, the album starter,
showcases dynamic drum loops in a hip hop style, piano runnings and a
colorfull keyboard background. The result is grooving and hooking.
perfect jazzy touch of piano tones is also featured on French
Girls. His airy piano
melody is mixed with exotic keyboard sounds.
July is one of many tracks
taken from the first album "Cool Street" with musicians like
Omar Hakim, Victor Bailey, Mino Cinelu, Bob Mintzer, Oscar Castro
Neves, Gerald Veasley, George Jinda, Chieli Minucci, Mark Johnson,
Lionel Cordew, Emedin Rivera, Mark Ledford. Impressing the full
brass sound. Personally I prefer the recording of a complete group.
Were Here is a perfect
example of the contemporary jazz sound of the 90's. Melodic melodies
and hip hop rhythm dubbed with scratching effects. Above all remains Christoph's
great piano art. Also outstanding are Wesley G's guitar solos.
Sounds like George Benson's Ibanez.
American rhythms fade in on Pismo
Beach. Was this the
influence of George Jinda as the producer of the album
taken from "City Kids", we listen to a hard drum groove,
improvising. Derrik James is responsible for a magnificient sax
solo. You should also
check out Derrik
James ' solo project "Think Positive" on Blue Flame
Records, he has produced together with Christoph in 1996.
Wild And Wonderful
is a funky tune with Derrick's rocking sax.
is a more smooth jazz tune we could also listen to sitting at a hotel
bar drinking a cocktail.
is a rhythm emphatic propulsing tune with a South American flavor. The
slap and fretless bass is remarkable.
Out Of Town,
the title song of the second album, has some acid jazz jamming with a
thick bass, the organ sound and some orchestral synth overdubbs. But
first of all Christoph's funky piano play is the combining
Mondays On Bleeker
Street is another uptempo style in the George Jinda
style (bells, timbales and hundreds other percussion instruments),
above all the dynamic organ. Bob
Mintzer blows out his sax to a powerful momentum.
relax and listen to Cool
Street, the mellow title
song of the first album.
short intro a moody melody is introducing into Stella
By Starlight. This jazz
classic was covered by hundreds of jazz artists, Christoph interprets
the tune as a reggae, influenced by Dave Samuels?
Island is the last
good-bye on this album. Bob
Mintzer 's sax is irresistible.
hadn't the opportunity to buy all albums of the above mentioned
trilogy, "New York Groove" is a good substitute. With this
album in one's hand one receives a worthy part of smooth jazz history
mirrored in the musical US-German connection Christoph has