Project Grand Slam is an internationally known New York based Jazz group. Formed in 2007, the band consists of Robert Miller (composer, electric bass), Ron Thaler (drums, percussion) and Gilad Ronen (saxophone). Guest artists include Danny Lerman (saxophone), Mike Eckroth (keyboard) and Joye Hennessey (vocalist). Spring Dance is the band’s third album.
“Spring Dance” is the title track to the album and is a joyful instrumental romp. The percussion takes you away as keyboards and an interesting squeaking noise can be heard in the background amidst the piano melodies. The composition of this piece is well defined and the flavor is all jazz. The sax digs deep into the soul of the song as the multi-instrumental nature of the piece takes over like a tidal wave of musical sensation.
“Joe Z” made me think of a New Age Native American piece. The chanting and rhythmic elements lean in that direction, but move toward a saxophone filled Jazz piece. The blending of the two sounds is unique. The song is almost in several different chunks, with a different feel each step of the way. Toward the latter end of the song, an ambient electronica appears and is again joined with horn and percussion to give it a textured feel.
“Remember” is a smoky jazz piece with guest vocalist Joye Hennessey adding her voice to the mix. Full bodied and pure, her vocal style soars above the instrumentation and stirs the soul. Percussion blends with keyboard and guitar to craft a tug on the heartstrings. The sax appears for a jazzy interlude and is met with Hennessey’s vocals, taking the song to new heights. The piece is one of the most stirring tracks on the album. The instrumental version on track nine is a lovely conclusion to the album. It is smooth and runs along your ears like a lover caressing your arm.
PGS is full of talent and does a great job of showing how versatile they can be. From pure instrumental to upbeat jazz movements and vocals, they have crafted an album that jazz enthusiasts will be sure to enjoy.
Key Tracks-Spring Dance, Joe Z, Remember
June 22, 2012