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Bob Holz

Silverthorne

Review by Gary Hill

I've reviewed Bob Holz in the past, and his music is consistently strong. We include him in progressive rock because that's where we usually put fusion. There is one song here that I would probably call progressive rock, but then again some tunes are probably more pure jazz than even fusion conveys. Still, if you like great jazz based instrumental music, with a fairly wide range, this is for you.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Intervals
I love the rubbery bass groove on the opening section here. This number has a killer fusion texture with some great jamming built into it. It's a perfect opener, really getting the musical journey underway with one bold step out the door. This gets a bit funky at times, and I really love the guitar soloing on the number.
Less Is More
A mellower, more mainstream jazz groove is on the menu here. This is a classy cut that flows very well. It includes some particularly noteworthy horn work.
The Point
I really love the guitar work on this track. Overall, this piece seems to land somewhere between the first two in terms of style and intensity. While I like the horn work on this, it's the guitar led sections that really speak to me. There is a powerhouse jam as it approaches the six-minute mark where the guitar and horns are really jamming. That movement is among the best musical passages of the whole disc.
Riptide
Here we get another that often lands in more mainstream jazz areas. That said, there are some changes and angles that make me think quite a bit of Weather Report. Mid-track this thing explodes into a real powerhouse jam.     
Vince
I love the energy and groove on this piece. While it's more of a traditional, mainstream jazz cut, it really flows so well. There is some killer melodic guitar work on this thing.     
Reasons
There are some great shifts and changes on this number. It's more dramatic than some of the others. It resolves into more mainstream jazz, but the changes and excursions bring it more into the powerhouse fusion zone. I love the horn work on this. It's inspired and passionate.
Silverthorne
Fast paced and funky, this is packed full of energy. The fusion elements shine, and this is one of the highlights here. Of course, it is the title track. I'm guessing that's true because Holz recognized that it was one of the major standouts of the set. Everyone is on fire here, and thing really shines. The horn soloing around the halfway point is purely magical. The whole tune has a killer groove and flow.
Larry's Blues
With some killer horn work, this is a powerhouse cut that's packed with a lot of traditional jazz. Of course, there is also blues here. One of my music teachers when I was in college used to say it best, "you can have the blues without jazz, but you can't have jazz without the blues." The guitar soloing later in the piece is purely on fire.
Pick Myself Up
I dig the rocking groove that leads this number out of the gate. The piece has a cool rhythmic style to it. It works through some intriguing shifts and changes, and there are some pretty intense melodic moments. This number really is almost jazz rock more than it is fusion or pure jazz. It's also another standout on the set.
Subliminal Son
More purely fusion based, this powerhouse number has some great grooves and killer guitar work. The horns bring a lot to it, too. This is another that at times makes me think of Weather Report just a bit. The soaring, intense jamming later in the track is some of the best music of the whole album. It's really incendiary.
 
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