Bob Sneider: Out of the Darkness
(Sons of Sound SSPCD010)
Bob Sneider is coming out of the darkness.
with trumpeter Chuck Mangione for four years, hes played with
a long list of musicians including Nat Adderley, Don Menza, Nick Brignola,
Freddie Cole, Fred Wesley and Jon Faddis. Hes also
appeared on banjo and guitar with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
Pops, and has earned several awards from Downbeat magazine along the
way. In 1997, his academic studies took him from his home in the City
of Champions, as Brockton, Massachusetts, is called, to Rochester,
New York, where he is currently a faculty member at the esteemed Eastman
School of Music.
Bobs second recording as a leader, following 1998s Introducing
Bob Sneider. He is also heard on his brother Johns Double-Time
CD, Panorama, released in 2000.
Ellington and Strayhorns Far East Suite, Bob explores
Isfahan by playing lovely chords throughout a compelling
orchestration for guitar and bass. As he digs into his solo, the tunes
waltz-like feel gives way to a straight-ahead groove. Bob Statas
bass solo is next it is short and swinging. Drummer Mike Melito
shows his skills at the end of this one.
title tune, Out of the Darkness, offers straight ahead blowing
at a brisk tempo. The first solo is from the leader his work
is sparkling, moving and driving, full of passionate fire without raging
out of control. Brother Johns trumpet is heard next. Can you
imagine the jam sessions in the Sneider living room when they were
A singing piano solo from Paul Hofmann follows bringing the tune to
a swinging conclusion.
the several instrumental settings on this recording, Davids
Tune for Bobs nephew gives us the chance to hear the guitarist
working with just rhythm support supplied by Tony Padillas hand
04. On Waltz For Aleta, soft and gentle guitar work rings out like
a bell. I hear echoes of the old standard Dear Heart throughout.
Listen to the guitarists tone. He is always swinging, and his
note selection seems to ascend right off the fretboard. This is pretty
Sneider offers an interesting arrangement of Gershwins Love
Walked In for the guitar and piano. Bob and the band gently swing
as the trumpeter starts things off with the ideas flowing smoothly from
his horn. Bob follows next making his guitar sing, first with just single
notes then into octave territory, reminiscent of the masterful Wes Montgomery.
Love Walked In is a pleasant stroll.
Time We Say Good-Bye is a gorgeous recording featuring a string
quartet arranged by Dave Rivello. On this ballad, Bob is the only soloist,
accompanied brilliantly by pianist Hofmann. This is a gem!
Sonhando is a Jobim tune, sometimes called Dreamer.
Just congas and guitar are heard. Swift lines swirl from Bobs
guitar clearly showing that even when the tempo goes up, Bob still
that wonderful tone.
congas provide a shuffle groove for the guitar on If I Had You.
As Bob starts his solo, the conga accepts a time-keeping role, giving
Bob more freedom and the added responsibility of filling that space
with music. Bob shows that hes up for the task! Percussionist
Padilla gets a solo here.
09. On Youd Be So Nice To Come Home To, the string quartet
opens things up by stating the melody. Then the strings drop back, coloring
and flavoring the music as Bob and the rhythm section settle into the
tune. Even when playing with a string quartet, Bobs playing is
earthy and funky.
was written by Ellington trombonist Juan Tizol, best known for the composition
Caravan. Stately and majestic, its Sneiders
guitar playing along with hand drums. Make sure you catch the break
in the tune it took my breath away! As I listen to Bobs
guitar playing, I find myself constantly admiring his pretty tone, no
matter the tempo or instrumentation. I think its about time for
Bob Sneider to step Out of the Darkness and be heard. Take
a listen! I think youll enjoy it.
Eric in the Evening, WGBH Boston