Zachary Breaux – Uptown Groove (1997)

Zachary Breaux - Uptown Groove (1997)
Artist: Zachary Breaux
Album: Uptown Groove
Genre: Post-Bop, Crossover Jazz, Soul Jazz
Origin: USA
Released: 1997
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Breakfast at the Epiphany
Cafe Reggio
I Told You
Never Can Say Goodbye
The Thrill Is Gone
After 2:00 AM on the West Coast
All Blues
Back into Time
Uptown Groove
Flavors of My Mind
The 135th St. Theme
After 2:00 Am on the East Coast
I Love this Life


Guitarist Zachary Breaux, who tragically died just a few months after recording this CD (his debut), was a potentially great guitarist with a style coming from George Benson. In fact, his solos are generally more memorable than the purposely commercial material on this set, which largely consists of melodic, jazzy funk jams, usually with rather basic electronic rhythms. The cover versions of “All Blues” (which is given simplified harmonies) and “The Thrill Is Gone” (Breaux’s one vocal) are lightweight throwaways, but most of the other selections show off the guitarist’s obvious talents as a player; “After 2:00 AM on the East Coast” (a purely acoustic piece with a catchy melody) matches Breaux quite successfully with fellow guitarist Ted Dunbar. The final selection, ironically titled “I Love This Life,” is quite odd, for it has Breaux interviewing Dunbar about his life over an overdubbed two-guitar quintet jam (which is sometimes too loud). Among the other guest musicians are flutist Hubert Laws, bassist Brian Bromberg and pianist Renee Rosnes. A diverse and sadly final statement from a fine player.
Review by Scott Yanow