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Looking For... by Steve Ramsdell

Steve Ramsdell’s new CD Looking For.... is an easy listening contemporary jazz recording that mixes styles. There are lush moments with pure jazz guitar and moments of contemporary jazz. There are equal parts folk and classical music. The over riding feature is a pleasant sound, a laid back mood and some very tasteful music performed with efficiency from a solid group of musicians.

From the pure jazz guitar style of a Grant Green, or a Wes Montgomery voicing, to the Latin flavour, Flamenco of Sebicas, to a Brazilian folk like mood, alla Laurindo Almeida, Ramsdell plays it all. Not only can he cross styles, he is the composer of all the songs on the CD, thirteen tracks. The longest song at just over seven minutes, "Chiado" a smooth as honey, jazz waltz with a melody that floats, sometimes swims and breathes with collective sighs of pleasure and solace. The shortest track comes in at two minutes "An Ocean Away" featuring vocalist Grazyna Auguscik. In duet performance with Ramsdell who plays acoustic guitar on this song. A melancholy song, the vocal is in a chant like style, the guitar is as Brazilian classical, nylon strings and finger strumming.

The average song length is at three and one half minutes. The song "Cascades" has a stop and start frame work, there is a superb bass solo and catchy verses. It is a well composed song. The groove is one of syncopated dynamics, needle sharp guitar runs with drums and bass pounding out a funk like foundation.

The recording is made up of five tracks that are acoustic guitar show pieces. The acoustic guitar is played in the classical style with world music influences. The remaining tracks are with the band, acoustic bass is featured on many of the songs. The acoustic bass is played by Dan Delorenzo. On the title track "Looking For.... " Lorenzo comes out front to push the slow blues song forward. The drums are brushed smooth, while the bass lines are open and sustained with grand intonation. The guitar plays a slow rhythm offset with single note dynamics. A brilliant tone, a beautiful rhythm, a delightful song that is as relaxed and composed as you can get.

The new recording by Steve Ramsdell, Looking For.... should give any music listener everything they should be looking for in good music.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Steve Ramsdell
  • CD Title: Looking For...
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Independent
  • Musicians: Steve Ramsdell (guitars), Andre Beasly (drums), Dan Delorenzo (acoustic bass), John Erikson (piano), Tim Mulvenna (percussion), Tim Siesser (electric bass), Grazyna Auguscik (vocals), Spider Saloff (vocal)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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