Jim Snidero: Far Far Away

Altoist Snidero has been turning out solid post-bop jazz for decades and continues here, the impact enhanced by guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel

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With no fewer than 25 albums to his name, altoist Jim Snidero should be more widely recognised. After all, he’s worked with big names such as Mel Lewis, Jack McDuff, Maria Schneider and the big bands of Frank Sinatra and Eddie Palmieri.

With Far Far Away Snidero presents a set of six of his compositions and two non-originals. Whilst the tunes are all good and make for enticing listening it’s the guitarist Snidero has chosen to add to the mix that makes a substantial difference.

Six-string legend Kurt Rosenwinkel’s legato guitar lines dominate this album arguably to the same degree that Eric Clapton’s presence on John Mayall’s Blues Breakers album famously defined it. Both album leaders acknowledge this by wisely affording special billing to their respective guitarists. Rosenwinkel’s fluid and seemingly effortless single-line playing appears, to some extent, to channel Allan Holdsworth’s coruscating style but with less angularity.

But every track on which Rosenwinkel plays is suddenly transformed to another aural dimension. The guitarist’s penchant for the upper register frequently characterises his lissom delivery and forces the listener to do a double take; is that a guitar or a keyboard? Snidero himself is no shrinking violet either, his soloing on the upbeat title track or on the Rodgers and Hammerstein standard It Might As Well Be Spring clearly demonstrating what a classy player he is.

On Nowhere To Hide, Orrin Evans demonstrates why his lithe piano flourishes have made him Snidero’s accompanist of choice on his last three albums. McCoy Tyner’s elegant ballad Search For Peace from The Real McCoy (Blue Note, 1967) is given a faithful reading. The closer, the lively Little Falls consolidates what is undoubtedly a strong recording with convincing performances all round.

Discography
Far Far Away; Infinity; It Might As Well Be Spring; Nowhere To Hide; Obsession; Pat; Search For Peace; Little Falls (55.00)
Snidero (as); Kurt Rosenwinkel (elg); Orrin Evans (p); Peter Washington (b); Joe Farnsworth (d). New York, 29 August 2022.
Savant Records SCD 2207