Facing West, Dusk Til Dawn (51:43) a.i.r. Records, a.i.r. 5890-0100, 1999 P.O. Box 1981 Media, PA 19063 Cyberhome: http://www.airrecords.com/fw.htm Facing West centers around the writing team of bassist Kevin Jacoby and guitarist Scott Smith, and also includes drummer Tom Walling and keyboardist Howie Gordon. (Saxophonist Chris Farr guests on one track.) Contributing five tunes a piece to this effort, Jacoby and Smith craft funk-influenced fusion material that is quite solid, if a bit ordinary. The production is clean as a whistle, doing these strong players ample justice. Smithís bright solidbody tone seems to owe a great deal to Wayne Krantz, and Jacoby tends toward a support role in the ensemble, more like Marcus Miller than, say, Jaco Pastorius. He does pull off focused and fluid solos on "Castle" and "Ospralia," however. His rapid-fire bass line on "Idle Chatter" is a highlight (as is Gordonís keyboard solo on the same tune), and his composition "7 Ft. Deep" is one of the strongest tracks.
Despite its occasional repetitiveness, the group is accessible, intelligent, and well worth hearing. ~David R. Adler
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