Album Review: Road Trip from Slide Attack
Album: Road Trip
Artist: Slide Attack
Audiences are familiar to bands with dueling banjos or dueling guitars or dueling fiddles but it is quite a rarity to have twin trombonists feeding off each other, forming an engaging correspondence, and luring one another into a dynamic exchange. Slide Attack maintains a tradition spearheaded by trombonists J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding, who helmed such a jazz combo through the 1950’s.
Slide Attack is comprised of trombonists Howard Levy and Alan Goidel, who are accompanied by Hiroshi Yamazaki on piano, Michael Goetz on bass, and Chuck Zeuren on drums. Their latest CD is entitled Road Trip, a collection of originals and jazz classics that indeed set listeners on a road trip, traversing across the jazz spectrum, basking in a cache of Latin swing, post bop, and smooth blues.
The listener is given ample portions of each musician through the tracks from Yamazaki’s twittering keys to Zeuren’s bursting drumbeats and Goetz’s pulsating bass grooves, creating a tuneful backdrop for Levy’s and Goidel’s animated doodles on the trombone on tracks like “Struttin'” and “Spring Roll.” The band’s trove includes the soft simmering shimmers lighting “Look Within,” donning a dusting of Zeuren’s finely brushed drum strokes and Yamazaki’s leisurely prancing keys.
The band enlists a swing jazz palette on “Owens,” as the toggling and jutting notes of Levy’s and Goidel’s trombones insert a playful bounce into the track. The sweet sonorous glazing the twin trombones along “A Walk in the Park” permeate a lounging atmosphere as their meandering correspondence puts listeners in a relaxing mood. The recording switches to a Latin swing glitter through “Early Morning” then closes with the rhythmic splashing and bop-infused banter mobilizing “Bluedemi.”
The harmonic bond between the twin trombones is entrancing as the rhythm section complements the brassy motifs. The meandering doodles played by Levy and Goidel beautifully bud and unfold as the surrounding flutters and brushed strokes add to the melodic landscape. Road Trip is a lovely stroll through the swing-imbued troves of the jazz spectrum.
Howard Levy – trombone
Alan Goidel – trombone
Hiroshi Yamazaki – piano
Michael Goetz – bass
Chuck Zeuren – drums