COMPOSERS: Wide Hive Players
LABELS: Wide Hive
PERFORMER: Faye Carol (vocals), Tim Hyland (trumpet), Thomas McCree (organ), Matt Montgomery (bass), Mike Rinta (trombone), Doug Rowan (sax)
CATALOGUE NO: WH-0296
The Wide Hive Players are a collective of talented in-house players from the San Francisco-based label Wide Hive. Producer and label-owner Gregory Howe, who clearly has a great ear, has penned a striking selection of soul-fused jazz tracks for his house band.
From surprisingly fast drum intros, to gorgeous gutsy horn harmonies, which in the case of ‘Mending Gravity’ have a curious dirge-like feel, this disc is topped off by Thomas McCree’s rippling B3 organ. Producer-led UK labels such as Tru Thoughts have drawn in a wide net of music fans – this Stateside band deserves to do likewise.
Accomplished San Francisco-based jazz singer Faye Carol lends a bluesy edge – with her two simmering vocal offerings. And unlike the current nu-jazz trend in the UK for erratic ‘stop-start’ tempos, the Wide Hive Players keep an even keel. This is a refreshing soul jazz classic that basks in West Coast sunshine. Neil McKim