The Dave Stryker Trio, Groove Street Review


The Dave Stryker Trio, Groove Street Review

Echoes of Tradition: The Dave Stryker Trio’s Modern Take on Classic Jazz in Groove Street

by Jeff Becker

Dave-Stryker-Jazz-Sensibilities-CDOne of the jazz genre’s most celebrated and resonant sounds is the blend of guitar, organ, and drums. This trio sound has been a cornerstone of the genre’s evolution, particularly since its golden era in the 50s and 60s. The Dave Stryker Trio’s latest offering, Groove Street, is another modern homage to this tradition while propelling it into the contemporary jazz scene. The album, enriched by the tenor saxophone power of Bob Mintzer, is a celebration of the past and a bold step into the future of modern soul jazz.

From the first note of the title track, “Groove Street,” the album exudes a deep understanding and respect for the guitar-organ-drum sound that defined an era. Stryker’s guitar work is highly lyrical, making his guitar less like an instrument but a voice, carrying the legacy of jazz guitar greats with every pick and riff. His playing, intricate yet soulful, weaves through his original composition with a narrative quality that speaks to the listener on a profound level.

Jared Gold’s organ playing is a vital component of this album, offering a rich tapestry of sound that harks back to the Hammond B3 tones that dominated the jazz clubs of the 50s and 60s. His playing on tracks like “Soulstice” is a nod to the past and a demonstration of the organ’s timeless appeal in jazz. Drummer, McClenty Hunter, underpins the trio with a rhythmically sophisticated yet tastefully restrained approach, reminiscent of the great jazz drummers who knew exactly how to complement their fellow musicians. Check out Hunter’s solo on “Straight Ahead” to hear the magic.

The addition of Bob Mintzer is a stroke of genius. His tenor saxophone elevates the album, adding emotional depth and complexity layers. On tracks like “Overlap” and the modern jazz-infused “Summit,” Mintzer’s playing is a bridge between the traditional and the contemporary, showing how the soul jazz genre can evolve while retaining its core essence.

The album also includes wonderfully performed takes on classics like Wayne Shorter’s “Infant Eyes” and Eddie Harris’ “Cold Duck Time,” showcasing the ensemble’s ability to honor jazz standards while infusing them with their unique sound. The Dave Stryker Trio’s interpretation of “The More I See You” stands out for its elegant balance between tradition and the energetic modern jazz vocabulary.

In Groove Street, we hear echoes of the past and the clear, confident sound of jazz’s future. It’s an album that respects its roots while daring to explore new territories. The Dave Stryker Trio, along with Bob Mintzer, has created a musical experience that is an album to be experienced, a journey through the rich history of jazz and its ongoing evolution.

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