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Monday, November 17, 2014

American Showplace Music artist: Bruce Katz Band - Homecoming - New release review

I just received the newest release, Homecoming, from Bruce Katz Band. Opening with title track instrumental, Homecoming, Katz and band mates Ralph Rosen (drums) and Chris Vitarello (guitar) ride an easy opening jam. Nice lap steel work from Jimmy Bennett mixed with the multiple key textures from Katz make this a great opener. Up next is King of Decatur, a funky New Orleans style track with Randy Ciarlante on drums and lead vocals. Katz shows his mastery of the style on electric keys and Bennett and Vitarello show their swampy chops. Santa Fe Blues features John Hammond on lead vocal and Katz really tickles the keys with a bright approach to a classic style period blues track. On shuffle track, No Brainer, the band really gets into a nice groove. Vitarello lays out some really swinging guitar riffs and Katz handles the B3 like it's a part of him. Excellent! Amelia opens with Katz on electric piano and Peter Bennett on bass and Rosen on drums finding a jazz overlay on a New Orleans sound. Wild About You features Jimmy Bennett on vocal and slide on this Elmore James like track. This is a great blues groove with super piano work from Katz. The Czar has a cool, laid back swing featuring open organ work from Katz, a guitar rumble from Bennett and Randy Ciarlante on drums. Nice! Blues Before Sunrise features John Hammond on vocal and guitar and some of the best piano work on the release by Katz. I really love this piano style with great blues feel. Time Flies and a cool jazz instrumental with excellent exchange between the musicians, Katz, Vitarello and Rosen. Smokin! The Sky's The Limit is a lagging shuffle with a great feel. Vitarello holds down the vocal lead nicely as he and Katz trade swinging riffs. On fusion track, Just An Expression, Katz, Vitarello and Rosen really take you for a ride not only with a great rhythm but excellent musicianship. Very cool! Won't Last Till Tuesday is a slower paced bluesy fusion track with complex rhythms. possibly one of my favorite tracks on the release, Katz takes the first solo leg laying down a leading path. Vitarello picks up the baton and carries it high with well articulated guitar riffs of his own punched by Ciarlante on drums. Wrapping the release is It's A Bad Time, in 3/4 time and featuring Bennett on guitar and lead vocal. Katz on B3 and Rosen on drums round out the track making an interesting com=nclusion to a pretty cool release.

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