Joshua Bayer

Lines and Grooves

Jazzheads Records JH1 140

Joshua Bayer, acoustic bass; Luther Gray, drums; Marty Nau, saxophone; Bob Sykes, piano and Rhodes.

Joshua Bayer composed eight of the songs, the one exception is "Prelude" by George Gershwin. Starting off with "J Cess", the group swings along pleasantly, all offering some solid solo work. Marty Nau plays a nice conversational alto saxophone; Bob Sykes solos appear stronger when he exchanges the Fender Rhodes for a piano. In "Third Line", saxophone and piano team up for a chatty duet, as we follow Mr. Bayer's line of thought through the piece. We have to wait for track six and the second half of the set before we get anything that is at all upbeat, "Blues For Now" mixes it a bit, with a much livelier swing. "Product of Block" is another piece with more zest. Continuing with the upbeat the final track "Second Line", takes the set home to a lively end. Luther Gray on drums works hard throughout and Joshua Bayer has plenty of busy solos. Whilst all the pieces are acceptable, there is nothing that is particularly outstanding, though one senses a yet to be fully exploited seam of good ideas; there is a lot to build on.

by Ferdinand Maylin

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