I’m a reporter for The Daily News in McKeesport. Luckily for me, I get to review the occasional jazz CD. Generally, our album reviews appear in the Thursday and Saturday papers. CDs can get up to 5 stars.
BILL MCCORMICK, “To Be Continued-Ken Hatfield and Friends Play the
Music of Bill McCormick” (mPub Corporation) 3.5 stars — Composer Bill
McCormick's new CD delivers breezy and easy entry into the
sophisticated worlds of bebop, fusion, smooth and Brazilian jazz.
The lead cut on the album, “The Spirit of Soul,” calls to mind
Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things.” It begins with a memorable, melodic
sax hook as a runway that quickly gives way to some amazing flights of
Look out the window and you will see the whole view has suddenly changed.
Ken Hatfield displays incredible technique on the nylon six string and
the rest of the musicians — Jim Clouse on sax, Hans Glawischnig on
bass, Dan Weiss on drums, and Steve Kroon on percussion — also put in
The band maintains cabin pressure on every track with each journey
beginning and ending on stable musical ground.
The exception to the stability rule may be “Mystery Ship.” Arriving
midway through the CD, this eerie song begins and ends under water,
thanks largely to Kroon’s amazing percussion work. To listen is to be
at one with the waves, face down, banging against the dock. But the CD
is soon up and about again, soaring to a finish with “El Camino Wes,”
a tribute track to legendary guitarist Wes Montgomery.
This is a great album for anyone who likes their jazz complex and
accessible. (Eric Slagle)
This review originally appeared in The Daily News on Jan. 15, 2009