Sarah Reich: New Change


How do you review a tap dance CD? Sarah Reich – leading exponent of tap dance in the USA and frequent collaborator with Scott Bradlee’s Post Modern Jukebox poses such a question. Musically, the album is varied and ranges through stomp, swing, groove, scat, vibe and even rap. “Who knew tap could be so versatile!” exclaims the press release. The musicians are all highly proficient and I could happily listen to them on their own. However, this CD is promoted as a “boundary pushing” tap-dance album and has to be reviewed as such.

Sarah Reich is credited with playing jazz percussion. I am not sure what that is but she is clearly tap dancing in the studio, which when recorded is mixed as a form of percussion. Let me state unambiguously that I may not be the best critic to review a dance CD. Whilst I like to think I have two good ears, when it comes to dance I definitely have two left feet. The point being that jazz percussion to me sounds like going to a decent live music performance and someone on the next table banging out an accompanying rhythm with their hands on the table top. After a few minutes it becomes annoying and after 30 minutes you probably wouldn’t want to be responsible for your actions.

The inclusion of several spoken and high sycophantic interludes is equally annoying. There is more than a touch of La La Land about the whole CD but, unlike the film, this is not destined for a Grammy Award or a happy ending.

Harold Cromer (intro); Tap City; Respect the Dance; Ted Louis Levy (interlude); It’s Tappening; Brenda Bufalino (interlude); Revive; Jason Samuels-Smith (interlude); The Groove; New Change; Arthur Duncan (interlude); Baked Bean Blues; Ivery Wheeler (interlude); Scat Rap; Gemini Vibe; For Chance; Dianne Walker (interlude); My Baby Just Cares for Me (34.08)
Personnel includes Sarah Reich (tap pcn); Maya Sykes (v); Danny Janklow (s); Mike Cottone (t); Scott Bradlee (p); Jonathan Pinson (d); Alex Boneham (b). Hollywood, USA, 2018.
Tap Music Productions