FAME Review: Andy Snitzer - The Rhythm
Andy Snitzer - The Rhythm

The Rhythm

Andy Snitzer

Native Language Music - NLM0978-2

Available from Native Language Music's web site.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

If you don't know Andy Snitzer's name by now, then you haven't been paying attention to your LPs' and CDs' liner notes. He's played with damn near everyone—Clapton, Beck, Dr. John, Aguilera, Miles, Aretha, Panic at the Disco, Paul Simon, Tony Bennett…hell, it'd take less time to name who he hasn't played with than who he has. Snitzer achieves a warm golden sound with his sax, a smooth and mellow echo back to the old Kudu / CTI days that Grover Washington and others played out as the smooth-jazz era began, a successor to the old West Coast Cool but under different management. That mode has suffered in recent years, and not entirely undeservedly so, but cats like Andy Snitzer, Chieli Minucci, and others are making heroic efforts to keep the style afloat by fusing more intelligence and broader ambience into their oeuvres. This explains why Snitzer also took up keyboards, here proving himself adept at tone washes, breezy tropicales, and upbeat but contemplative milieux. Too, he's a musician keeping that old 70s / 80s hip mellow fusion sound—the one purveyed by Passport, Mezzoforte, Cassiopeia, and other horns-centered ensembles—in fine fettle. Lay an ear to Breaking, my favorite slice here, to see what I mean.

You'd never want to cite Snitzer as a speedster. He's much more in the Desmond vein—thoughtful lines, soft architectures, that sort of thing—and, frankly, his work needs to be heeded by film-makers. Whether with or without his horn, the guy exceeds cats like Mark Isham in terms of colorations (especially in those way moody keyboards!) and tonicities. Give him the chance to lay down synth panoramas in a movie and the imagery will be enhanced and deepened appreciably. Then toss in that sax, and the audience will break reverie and start seat dancing. If you dig the Rippingtons, Jeff Golub, the Yellowjackets, Steps Ahead, and that gaggle of too-hip-gotta-go groovemeisters then The Rhythm was tailor-made for you. If you dug the post-Soft Machine / Brian Auger fusion waveflow, well, the same applies. And if you happen to have a bottle of cognac, a double handful of sand candles, some brie, and heated swimming pool with a killer night-sky view, then I suggest you call your amour, drop this CD in the player, and see what happens 'cause there's also a very potent element of John Klemmer's all-time most sensual vibe (Barefoot Ballet) here, and it'd be a shame to listen to it just alone.

Track List:

  • Candy
  • Velvet
  • Devotion (Snitzer / Mann)
  • Breaking
  • No Exit (Snitzer / Mann)
  • Siren's Serenade
  • Kinetic
  • Caso de Amor (Snitzer / Loeb)
  • And Again
  • Above Us All
  • Réalisé (Snitzer / Mann)
All songs written by Andy Snitzer except as noted.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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