Grant Geissman (guitar) – Bop! Bang! Boom! – Futurism Records FR-2055, 65:49 ***1/2:
(Grant plays electric/classical guitar and is accompanied on various tunes by: Brian Scanlon (tenor/soprano saxophone, flute), Emilio Palame (piano); Trey Henry (acoustic bass, tuba); Ray Brinker (drums); Alex Acuna (congas, bongos, triangle, maracas, tambourine, frame drum, tamborim, “a go-go” bells); Brian Kilgore (tambourine, claves, tablas, castanets, cajon, frame drum, shaker, washboard, spoons, hubcap, pander, triangle, percussion); Tom Ranier (piano); Kevin Axt (acoustic bass); Tom Scott (tenor/alto saxophone); Jim Cox (Hammond B-3 organ); Russell Ferrante (Fender Rhodes piano); Van Dyke Parks (accordion); Doug Lacey (accordion); Albert Lee (electric guitar); Larry Carlton (electric guitar); Greg Mathieson (Hammond B-3 organ); Dennis C. Brown (guitar, harmonica); Chuck Lorre (guitar); Michael Finnigan (Hammond B-3 organ); Corey Allen (piano); Leland Sklar (electric bass))
The music starts off with a funk number. The band is tight and although the liner notes point to a Thelonious Monk influence in the solo piano portion of the track, the playing reminds me more of Oscar Peterson, with runs and nimble taps here and there. The horn sound is full and not unlike what Joshua Redman is doing these days. The liner notes suggest a resemblance to Quincy’s “Soul Bossa Nova” on track three, but to me it is reminiscent of Lee Morgan’s “Sidewinder” with guitar. No matter—it’s still a fun tune. The fourth track features Grant on a classical guitar and the piece is enjoyable till the horn makes the track sound much like the rest of the songs. Track seven harkens to New Orleans jazz—anyone who has been watching Treme will appreciate it. Next it’s blues, rock, light Samba and an overdubbed classical piece played by Geissman.
This disc is the third in a trilogy of traditional jazz following the albums Say That! and Cool Man Cool. The package comes with two large color inserts and even trading cards illustrated by Miles Thompson. The list of guest artists is huge (above), but Geissman claims that the album is not planned, but exploring different styles and following his inspiration. As an artist, Grant has played with the likes of Quincy Jones, Chuck Mangione, Burt Bacharach, Ringo Starr and Elvis Costello—to name a few. Ultimately this disc will please fans looking for this modern type of fusion jazz covering a variety of different genres. My preferences lay towards simpler, less produced records. Use this as a guideline for whether this disc will appeal to you or not.
TrackList: Boom!; The Singularity; Q Tip; Un Poco Espanol; Go To The Window; Good Morning, Mr. Phelps; $25 Stella; Texas Shuffle; Samba En Menor; Guitarism; Take Yer Time; Off The Grid.