Jazz-blues-rock homage to New York City critically-praised
Celebrating the diversity and bustling energy of the city he’s called home for more than twenty years, guitarist Jeff Golub’s Grand Central album was released in record stores Tuesday (March 6th) by Narada Jazz/Blue Note Label Group. The vibe he captured is “live,” as if he grabbed his guitar, headed down to a dimly lit, gritty blues or jazz club in New York City, plugged in and started jamming with a talented group of friends. That’s pretty much how the album was recorded, although it was tracked in several recording studios. However, Golub, who produced most of this, his seventh solo album in addition to writing or co-writing eight songs, kept things loose and casual, allowing the musicians the freedom to improvise and freely explore the jazz, blues, rock, R&B and pop melodies and rhythms. There’s nothing particularly smooth about this edgy musician who brings blues and rock to contemporary jazz.
Taking its title from an old Dentyne commercial, “Hello Betty” prefaced the album release at radio where the signature Golub track is swiftly moving up the chart. The funky horn section and a bumpin’ groove on the Rick Braun-produced cut get scorched by Golub’s cool-toned, incendiary guitar lead. Special guest appearances and contributions to Grand Central were made by Rick Braun, Richard Elliot, Kirk Whalum, Philippe Saisse and Paul Brown, with Braun and Brown producing a few tracks. But the NYC cats Golub was primarily chillin’ with were drummers Steve Ferrone and Shawn Pelton, Chris Palmero (keyboards, Hammond B3, rhythm guitar), Mitchel Forman (piano, organ & string synth, Fender Rhodes & clavinet), bassist Lincoln Goines, percussionist Luis Conte, saxophonist Dave Woodford, and trombonist Nick Lane while Steven Miller co-produced, recorded and mixed the record.
Golub, who begins co-headlining the national Guitars & Saxes Tour with Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum and Tim Bowman at the Nokia Theatre in New York City on March 24th with concert dates that run through the end of the summer, is getting some love from the media. He’s scheduled to appear on an episode of Smooth Jazz Television, record an intimate performance for Sirius Satellite Radio, and grace the cover of next month’s annual guitar special issue of West Coast trade Music Connection magazine.
The album reviews have also been quite favorable. Jazz USA stated, “Jeff Golub's new release (his seventh solo album) is full of fire and energy. It has a distinct New York City vibe and manages to capture the artist in his own unique element.” All Music Guide wrote, “At his best, as on this exciting collection, he's raw and just a bit dirty, wailing with his buddies and having some loose, energetic fun…He plays it mostly fast and funky, but shows a unique emotional depth…” ABYSSJazz Magazine enthused, “The result is vintage Golub – funky, fresh and infused with the spontaneous feel that live sessions engender. It's a diverse set of originals and covers with highlights galore…You can tell the musicians are having a grand time creating this music. It's a New York vibe with universal appeal!” Smooth Jazz Therapy concurred, “…this natural flare he has for delivering raw and honest recordings spills out into every one of the eleven choice tracks. Although a delicious mix of rock, pop and electric plus acoustic blues, excellent examples of R&B tinged contemporary jazz also abound…” SmoothViews declared, “Sometimes you hear guys like Jeff Golub, who used to back rockers like Rod Stewart, referred to as ‘former rockers.’ I’ve seen Jeff play live. There’s no ‘former’ about him. He’s still a rocker! And with his latest release, Grand Central, Golub brings on the feel and flavor of New York City with tracks that cover everything from jazz to blues to rock.”
Additional information can be found at www.jeffgolub.com.