by Russell Trunk
| Title – New Dreams
Artist – Barry Coates / Jimmy Haslip / Jerry Kalaf
For those unaware, electric and syn-guitarist Barry Coates, with his melodic but expressive approach, has been recording solo projects and has worked with some interesting artists over the years, including touring with the Pointer Sisters, Angela Bofill, Willie Bobo, John Klemmer, and Kitaro.Coates has fared equally well on his own. His music is heard in such films as Dead Bang, Partners in Crime, Fatal Attraction, and television shows including Two on the Town, Eye on Hollywood, Partners in Crime, the Weather Channel, and Playboy After Dark.Coates recorded two impressive albums with his band Barry Coates & the Hats, Because I Love You, and Move Like A Dancer. On his third album, The Spirit Within, he collaborated with bass player Jimmy Haslip of the Yellowjackets. Their compositions can be heard on this album, also Luis Conte’s Black Forest (a must-have percussionist CD) and the Yellowjackets The Spin.
More recently, Warner Bros published Jimmy and Barry’s guitar and bass instruction books titled Ultimate Play Along/Just Classic Jazz. Vol 1-3.
Bassist Jimmy Haslip has created an iconic career in recording and performing. Producing over 190 recordings, he also has himself recorded on over 400 records. Haslip is a founding member of the group Yellowjackets, a member for 34 years. He has 22 GRAMMY-Nominations and 3 GRAMMY-Wins.
A resident of Los Angeles, drummer Jerry Kalaf has been active in the jazz community for many years. His credits include performances and tours with Eddie Harris, Gary Burton, Gary Foster, Frank Strazzeri, Bill Mays, Bill Perkins, Jimmy Cleveland, The Pointer Sisters, Gregory Hines, and Major Holley.
New Dreams is a celebration of like-minded musicians exploring the cerebral, the explorative, and the connectivity between the chemistry of a trio setting while uniquely highlighting the collaborative compositions of Coates and Haslip, all presented by seasoned veterans in peak form.
The album opens on Coates’ melodic soundscapes free flowing within Towner and the powerfully thoughtful Transcendence and then backs those up with the dutiful aesthetic of Coates’ fingerpicking sound on Faith and the meditative ambiance of modern jazz found within Swingset.
Next up is one of my own personal favorites from this new collection, the spaciously emotive, layered synthesizer and guitar moods within Before which is itself followed by the melodically picturesque Mays, the acoustic, and beautifully textural Sacred is along next, the album closing on the almost studious, Avant side of progressive music brought forth within Retrograde.
New Dreams is an album to be savored. There is nothing typical or predictable within the grooves of this album. Whether touching on the pensive or the cognitive, the album fires on all cylinders by three top-shelf players.