Turning Point — Matador
(Native Language NLM 0948ADV, 2005, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2006-05-01Sophisticated jazz and fusion is an art form unto itself having been perfected to a certain degree by acts such as the Crusaders, Yellowjackets, and Russ Freeman. Part of Turning Point’s local success has been a strict focus on smooth grooves, tasty licks and upbeat vibes. Their cover of Chick Corea’s “Spain” from Light as a Feather and the title track are strong indications that the Phoenix quintet is also deeply rooted in Spanish-tinged rhythms from a tight rhythm section. Guitarist Thano Sahnas has a firm grasp on both acoustic and electric leads taking solos that appear seamless and recall the glory days of Larry Carlton, applying restraint where needed. Other notable tracks include “Turn down the Night,” which relies on Fender Rhodes to take the mood down a notch. The Kenny G or Dave Koz mode of the piece is possibly a bit too slick for my tastes despite the high production value. Saxophonist Dominic Amato and pianist Steve Culp also carry a bit of the melodic load as heard on “Soldier’s Lullaby,” which captures a feel like many of Pat Metheny’s latter day efforts. Closing out the disc is “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow,” serving as a sincere ode to the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster. Overall the group has a keen sense of identity and is tapped for greater things including an upcoming performance on the BET network jazz show.
Related artist(s): Turning Point
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more