All the world: Robert Jospe's CD Bash
From the first lead-in beat of Robert Jospé’s soon-to-be-released CD, Time to Play, the urge to nod your head, trace the simple melody lines with your chin, and shake your hips increases exponentially with every track, until you have no other choice but to surrender yourself to this album’s near-tidal pull.
Coming from Jospé and the same group of musicians who produced 1999’s acclaimed Blue Blaze, Time to Play continues in the instrumental Latin, jazz, afro-Cuban, and world beat vein of its predecessor. Upbeat Latin-tinged tunes give way to jazzy R&B numbers dripping with funk, and all the tracks bear the markings of some of Charlottesville and Richmond’s finest musicians.
Time to Play features Kevin Davis on percussion, Jeff Decker on saxophones, Bob Hallahan on piano, John D’earth on trumpet, coronet and flugelhorn, Royce Campbell on guitar, Elias Bailey and Pete Spaar on bass, and, of course, Robert Jospé on drum set and percussion-– a plethora of well-known local stars, to say the least.
Jazz pianist Horace Silver’s “Swingin’ the Samba” kicks off the CD, this version arranged by Davis. Campbell’s quiet staccato acoustic guitar barely peeks its head above the percussive firestorm that Davis and Jospé ignite during the song’s introduction. After a short break, the rest of the band joins in. Most noticeable here are D’earth trumpet lines, often doubled but sometimes played in harmony, and Hallahan’s elegant piano chords.
A percussive break follows, and then Hallahan takes center (actually slightly to the right) stage with some jazzy piano lead. D’earth takes up the reins as the piano dies down, his expressive and flowing trumpet reminding us why he’s one of this town’s brightest musical lights.
Trumpeter Lee Morgan’s “Party Time” is up next, a piece arranged by Jospé himself. A long percussive introduction leads off the song, followed by a cymbal crash. Then things really get started. Bailey’s bass is mixed higher this time around, his catchy pop-flavored acoustic line the driving force behind this particular track-– Decker and Hallahan take solo turns, but this time you get the feeling the bass is where it’s at.
Jospé, Hallahan, and Decker all contribute original songs to the album, with most in the upbeat Latin-infected hard bop style of the first two tracks. Decker’s “Help Yourself” is a standout, band switching into a slower, bass-groove oriented world-view, with some impressive guitar lead placed here and there by Campbell.
Robert Jospé and his band, Inner Rhythm, will be holding the CD release party for Time to Play February 23 at Starr Hill. If you’re a fan of the band, or just someone who enjoys great, world-influenced sounds performed by extremely talented individuals, this will be your oasis for the evening.
Robert Jospé & Inner Rhythm CD Release Party at Starr Hill. $10/$8, 9pm.