David Garfield – Stretchin’ Outside The Box – Creatchy Records

by | Sep 7, 2021 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

David Garfield – Stretchin’ Outside The Box – Creatchy Records CREATCHY 028 [9/27/2021] 2-CD, 133:16 ****1/2 

Keyboardist David Garfield celebrities music with an all-star group of collaborators.

(David Garfield – arrangements, piano, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer electric piano, piano, synthesizers, Hammond organ; and featuring many, many others)

Keyboardist, record producer, arranger and record label owner David Garfield has been a session and touring musician for over 30 years. His wide-ranging musical experience has resulted in positive collaborative relationships with artists from a variety of backgrounds (jazz, rock, country, r & b). One of Garfield’s compelling projects is his six-installment Out Of The Box series. He creates jams on original and classic songs, presenting them in contemporary and jazz contexts. Garfield uses a staggering amount of contributing instrumentalists and vocalists to bring this music to life. His latest installment in this series is titled Stretchin’ Outside The Box (released on his own Creatchy Records). With an impressive cadre of talent (Nathan East; David Paich, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Steve Lukather, Lenny Castro, Greg Bissionette, Paul Jackson Jr., Grant Geissman, Steve Lukather, Vinnie Colaiuto and Steve Gadd), there are 24 tracks with a running time of 133 minutes. This is a celebration of music showcasing accessible and eclectic musicanship. The production quality is top-notch and the cuts have stylized arrangements, featuring Garfield performing on various keyboards. These are extended jams with no editing.

This festive celebration kicks off with the jaunty smooth flow of “Waiting For Your Love (Extended)” dedicated to George Duke. After the soulful first half there is a breezy tempo uptick. “Safe Water” is muscular with thick horns, electric guitar and trumpet/tenor saxophone exchanges. An interesting arrangement is an instrumental cover of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”. Garfield’s piano in effect becomes the lead vocal and the sax emulates the lead guitar. It is simple and faithful to the original. Another highlight is Joe Sample’s “Rainbow Seeker”. The 70’s jazz fusion aesthetic is captured with articulate, silky piano runs and clean guitar notes. In a change of pace, “Shufflin’” is gritty blues in a sweeping presentation. A trio of guitarists trade hot licks and a pedal steel solo is especially ear-catching. On “My Favorite Things”, a tapestry of musical approaches (with exotic motifs) capture the spirit of Coltrane’s 1961 modal version, including the graceful finesse of this cover’s inspiration, McCoy Tyner. The funk kicks in on two consecutive tracks, “Teen Town” and “Hunting Heads” respectively dedicated to Jaco Pastorius and Herbie Hancock. The former has a rumbling bass solo, and the latter utilizes a variety of airy studio effects and punctuated rhythms. A tribute to trumpeter Freddy Hubbard picks up on the limited vibrato delivery and hypnotic pulse associated with the 70’s CTI sound. 

Percussion is a key feature of these songs especially with the introduction to Disc Two “Prophecy (Extended)”. Following this is a lyrical piano run with Latin motifs. There are synth-laden pop tunes (“Pool Of Friendship”) with searing guitar lines. Many of the arrangements have a layered contemporary jazz feeling (“Sweetness”) with horn chorus and saxophone/trumpet solos. There are groove-infused performances  the Stevie Wonder dedicated “Go Home (Jungle Mix)”. Elements of funk and fusion inhabit “Creatchy Stomp OTB” with a thick bass, superb Bernard Purdie drum beat and ethereal sax. Subtle touches like a soprano saxophone infuse “Harvest Time (Extended Version)” with additional texture. Tender moments like “I Can Let Go Now” are moving.

Stretchin’ Outside The Box is great jazz and welcoming. The sound mix is top-notch. 

Stretchin’ Outside The Box:
Disc One: Waiting For Your Love (Extended); Safe Water; I Won’t Back Down (instrumental); Shufflin’; Rainbow Seeker; Rocket Man; Teen Town; Hunting Heads; Lovin’ You; Winning Waves; Pirate’s Cove; Tune For Tony (Extended)

Disc Two: Prophecy (Extended); Pool Of Friendship; Sweetness; Sir Charles; My Favorite Things (Extended); Pool Of Friendship (Remix); Go Home (Jungle Mix); Cousin Vinnie; Creatchy Stomp OTB; Harvest Time (Electric Extended); I Can Let Go Now (Instrumental); Remembering Carlos Vega. 

—Robbie Gerson

For more information, please visit Creatchy Records website:

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David Garfield - Stretchin’ Outside The Box, Album Cover

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