Jim Snidero, Far Far Away Review
by Jeff Becker
Jim Snidero has brought us a new album featuring an all-star quintet. The alto saxophonist is joined by Kurt Rosenwinkel: on guitar, Orrin Evans: on piano, Peter Washington: on bass, and Joe Farnsworth: on drums for his album titled Far Far Away. Snidero brings six original compositions plus two standards, “It Might as Well be Spring” and McCoy Tyner’s “Search for Peace” round out the project.
“Nowhere to Hide” has a jaunty feel and a building melody that goes through a fleshed-out form. Snidero’s solo exhibits his warm round alto saxophone with a language that reflects an umbrella of historic and modern jazz vernacular. Rosenwinkel has a fusion sound in that his guitar has ample saturation while still maintaining clarity of tone and pitch. Finally, Evans solo has a wonderful time feel and ideas as he interacts freely with Washington and Farnsworth.
When talking about the standard repertoire, the quintet maintains historical roots while still stretching out to find new territory. Farnsworth’s brushwork is supportive and interactive but always encourages the soloist’s rhythmic ideas. Snidero performs a beautifully lyrical solo of balance and activity. His inclusion of more be-bop embellished melodies is clever and adds to the classic jazz appeal. The re-harmonization is also something to notice.
Far Far Away is an outstanding example of a saxophone, guitar, piano, bass, and drum ensemble that performs jazz that speaks of the past and modern jazz. Snidero’s compositions support this exact color, as does his solos, resulting in a classic modern jazz perspective. Rosenwinkel’s tone is perfect for this project, and his more Allen Holdsworth-styled playing is too. The rhythm section of Evans, Washington, and Farnsworth provides the ideal platform for the past to meet today’s jazz with elegance and strong contagious feels.
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