Sept. 1, 2010
In my opinion, there are very few “masters of the string” more adeptly diverse and prolific all in the same breath than guitarist Patrick Yandall who, with the upcoming release of his 12th release, The Window, can boast having covered so much territory that Rand’s would have to create a new map to account for all of the ground this artist has covered. Including a searingly hot-to-the-touch rocker CD entitled Going For One, a lot of work for Muzak, a repertoire of contemporary jazz, R&B, Caribbean, soul, and other such goodies, what more can one ask from any musician? Maybe that he write and produce all of the tracks and play all of the instruments, including dual guitar parts? Well, he’s doing that on this latest, as well.
The Window leaves few areas uncovered, as Yandall delves headfirst into the soothing sounds of the more mellow distractions of the smooth jazz guitar then takes on various journeys through the islands, complete with steel pans and vibes. Never mind the sounds. Where this guy gets the ideas and the material in such rapid-fire fashion is amazing. That is where his prolific side presents itself. Consider for a moment that Going For One was just released in January of this year, on the heels of 2009’s A New Day. Now, with The Window, we’re listening to yet another completely new and all-original project.
O.k. Time for my track-by-track breakdown. The opening track, “To The Left” is a hook-tight popping little number that’s positioned just right as the lead track. Lots of smiles and party power. That’s followed by the snappy “Tower of Soul,” which is, in fact, quite soulful with some seriously energetic riffs from Yandall. “La Jolla,” with its laid-back Caribbean flavor, steel pans, and acoustic touch from Yandall makes you want to don your beach hat and shades and just settle back to bask in that warming island sun and soak in all that richness. Hey, you’ve got it all: Music, beach, life. Pretty glorious setting.
The title track, one of my favs (but I have many here) is a very intoxicating mid-tempo rhythmic piece with a very catchy hook. Many have offered a heartfelt tribute to Haiti, and Yandall is no different, offering a very bluesy and telling track to the island, “Hope For Haiti.” It simply drips with emotion.
The equally beautiful love ballad “You and I” is bound to help someone fall in love for the first time. Its charm is that appealing and sweet. “City By the Bay” takes one back to another time, perhaps the 80s, when rock and pop played with that semi-innocent “Baby, you complete me” kind of vibe and its mid-tempo groove and attractive hook. Yandall’s guitar does that period huge justice here.
I would be totally remiss if I exited without a word about Yandall’s handling of the funk factor, as evidenced on a track like “Lifelines.” Deliberate yet cool and jazzy. You certainly don’t lose sight of the fact that you are in the presence of well-played funk.
The Window. So appropriately named. On this project, that “window” is once again opened wide enough for you to see all that Yandall is and has always been to not only our world of jazz but to the infinite world of music. A world of music so infinite that its challenge is always too much for Patrick Yandall to ignore, and he rises each time to successfully face that very challenge. — Ronald Jackson
No Amazon music sampler has been released for this CD yet; however, you can hear the CD’s track samples at I-Tunes. Should the Amazon sampler become available, we will update this review to include it here.