Gateway is the second major release by the Kevin Dorsey Collective, a central New York based jazz group that's making waves and maybe an impression or two on the East Coast jazz circuit. Bassist Kevin Dorsey,the group's leader and producer, plays the double-bass and electric bass guitar and wrote all of the music on this CD. The Kevin Dorsey Collective is not your typical five piece jazz band. Dorsey put together a group of accomplished multi-instrumentalists professionals capable of producing a range of different sounds and innovative arrangements that features great rhythm based music. This band includes Bill Pomares on woodwinds, guitarist Bob Piorun, percussionist Jerry Bower and Stein Rimehaug on piano, keyboards and melodica.
The music in Gateway stretches from the mainstream to the progressive with a large dose of folk jazz to make the musical experience interesting. Dorsey's bio indicates an influence of Pat Metheny's musical style on Dorsey's own compositions. This is clearly the case with the first track on this album, "A Mere Bow." It has a nice upbeat tempo number and one of the best cuts on this CD. The track starts off with a fine rhythm collaboration between the congas and the piano then followed by excellent section work by Pomares on tenor sax and some soft guitar work by Bob Piorun. Very similar in style and I would argue Metheny like in melody, is the title cut "Gateway". This is another upbeat and moving piece that highlights the musicianship of Dorsey on double-bass.
The fifth track, "New Folk Song," has an obviously folksy rhythm to it with plenty of solos by Dorsey,Pomares and Piorun. "Over The Horizon" is one beautiful selection of music that's also very folksy in nature with some unusual and very nice harmonic sounding work by Stein Rimehaug on the melodica backed up by Pomares on clarinet. The percussion section on both of these cuts finds Jerry Bower on the udu drums and shaker that provides a light beat background and a mellow flavor to these tunes.
The prominent bass work by Dorsey can be heard throughout the entire recording, but is especially pronounced on such tracks as "Just Above The Surface" and "Two Steps Away," where the bass sets the tone and takes the lead. These numbers are all Dorsey. The last cut on the album, "See More," is a heavy rhythm based number with Bower on the congas and Dorsey on electric base guitar provides the main instrumentation and music on this one.
Gateway is a real gem of an album that showcases the musical depth and talents of a rising new star, composer and bassist extraordinare Kevin Dorsey. This CD may be a breakout album for the Kevin Dorsey Collective. From a musical perspective, Gateway has all the elements of a successful project, great writing, musicianship and an innovative rhythm base style.