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Album review: 'Steve Gadd Band' 

Steve Gadd Band

“Steve Gadd Band”

BFM Jazz

Listening to the new, self-titled album by the Steve Gadd Band, one thought comes immediately to mind: back-up bands are far more than back-up bands. Gadd himself is exhibit A. Perhaps the best drummer working today in pop music, his main gigs are in the bands of the world’s top stars: James Taylor, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, and others. And the musicians featured on this album are veterans of Taylor’s touring band. Gadd, who produced the album, gives them all a chance to shine.

For instance, bassist Jimmy Johnson contributes three tracks: an irresistibly funky tune co-written with Gadd, a beautiful ballad, and a Latin-tinged composition. Walt Fowler, who plays excellent solos on trumpet and flugelhorn throughout, also writes with Gadd and adds one tune of his own. Michael Landau, superb on guitar, offers a bluesy ballad and, with Duke Gadd (guitar and percussion), the funkiest tune on the album. Keyboardist Kevin Hays teams up with Duke Gadd and Landau for another funk romp. He also wrote and sings the albums one (heart-felt) tune with words.

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