5/01/2018

Jazz Fusion-Rock-Pop-Funk Review: Project Grand Slam-Trippin’

Release Date: June 29, 2018
Label: Cakewalk Records

This will be my sixth voyage into the world of Project Grand Slam (PGS). So, what is this experience going to be like this time? I would expect the same great combination of jazz, rock, funk, and pop that I always enjoyed.

Just so you all know PGS is: Robert Miller (bass), Mario Castro (saxophones), Bayden Goyo (keyboards), Joel E. Mateo (drums), Guillermo Barron Rios (percussion), Tristan Clark (guitar) and the beautiful Ms. Ziarra Washington (vocals).

So, now we are Trippin’ into 2018 with PGS. And the first track titled “1972” was like turning on the radio and hearing the Average White Band or Tower of Power. Yes sir, on the AM dial, it came blaring through back in those days. 

The title track is a real gas too. This number has some great sax from Castro and a killer rhythm section courtesy of Miller and Mateo. It shines the spotlight on them clear and bright. Let me tell you, those two are like the dynamic duo, kind of like a pitcher and catcher in total sync for nine innings (if you are a fan of baseball you can follow, if not…). I could listen to instrumental jazz like that for an entire album, I just love it. I always have had great respect for recording artists but when you are working on some jazz fusion and rock it takes everything to an entirely different level.

I was already buckled in and ready for another ride after that burner and then “Country Drive” kicked in and kept that instrumental excellence coming. The Sanborn like sax and those red-hot guitars just kept the blood pumping, it was like the quiet storm meets the rockers. 

You will hear some of the funkiest jams and well-crafted sing-along tracks as well on this recording.  Ziarra belts out l “You Started Something,” and real toe-tapper called “March of the Diplomats,” is little lower key with minimal vocals but very effective.

Now, of course, they have to do at least one cover, right? Just to show us how they can funk it all up and make it their own. They pull it off with The Who’s “I Can’t Explain.” 

Trippin’ has musicianship beyond reproach and a universal sound and warmth that is hard to resist. You will get your groove thang on listening to this music, and if you don’t have a groove thang, you will have one by the time you are done listening to this music!

Remember music fans, spice is the variety of life itself and this band is so spicy you may need a drink or two to temper those taste buds…

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
April 30, 2018

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Tracks:
01. 1972
02. You Started Something
03. Lament
04. No No No
05. Trippin’
06. Country Drive
07. March of the Diplomats
08. I Can’t Explain
09. Everyone Swears
10. Ride em’ High
11. Cousins

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