CD Reviews
Drummer Cafe 20th Anniversary
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To be human is to need to be touched, physically, emotionally, spiritually. There is a very powerful therapy in touching. I believe that music can touch people. It usually happens when we least expect it as artists -- that mystical something happens in one body of work and not in another. It happens, in my opinion, when we surrender our gifts to the Giver of gifts, that this touch happens. And the wonderful thing about it is we get touched as well.

I haven't asked him yet as of writing, but I plan to ask Warren, of course anticipating his answer, if he was indeed touched by Brothers as we the listeners were.

Warren Sneed The subtle blend of trumpet and soprano create a really wonderful and soothing sound that delivers this "perfect" melody in such a way that, though you haven't, you know you've heard it before -- the mark of a truly great composition. The variety, depth and technical excellence that I expected to hear in a Warren Sneed project was, to my delight, definitely accomplished! Excellent, painstakingly produced, well-executed. But the thing that jumped out at me, if I might once again rave about what will be on repeat in my Discman, is the song Brothers. Masterpiece.

Let the traditional jazz critic be confounded as he/she hears Warren add depth to the contemporary funk-oriented tracks which he/she was prepared to write off before given a chance. Let the smooth jazz critic prepare not only to be impressed, but impacted by the Texas Tenor tradition to which Warren belongs -- along with the likes of Everette Harp, Arnette Cobb, Larry Slezak, Don Wilkerson and Illinois Jaquette. Let the causal listener be prepared for a treat as he/she relaxes by the fire, perhaps with a Merlot or a Cabernet, and sips on some very moody melody.

Let all of us thank God that He dispersed His gifts so masterfully into the hands of craftsmen like Warren Sneed . It's always nice to prove again and again that the most engaging, intriguing music belongs to the artists not known by the masses . . . yet, that is!

Producer

Mike Morrison

Soprano & Tenor Saxophones

Warren Sneed

Trumpet & Flugelhorn

Dennis Dotson

Guitars

Mike Morrison
Mike Sunjka

Keyboards

Pat Hunt
Andrew Leinhard

Bass

John Adams
Jimmy Haslip
Keith Vivens

Drums

Robert Aguilar
Steve Allison

Percussion

Bart Elliott

Programming
(drums, bass, keys)

Mike Morrison
Audio Samples
Might As Well
Brothers
Two As One
Only Love
Waiting For Reply
After The Rain

 

REVIEW
Warren Sneed's debut album as a leader sounds like a perfect reflection of the local reedman — relaxed, warm, eager to please. The contemporary jazz session may be a surprise to those who have followed Sneed's career only in the straight-ahead confines of Cézanne or Ovations, but the saxophonist has always had one foot in the pop-jazz world. Besides, Sneed is nothing if not practical. The music here (eight of the 10 originals are by the saxophonist or his sidemen) is certainly the equal of Sneed's influences in this genre: Andy Snitzer and the underappreciated David Sanborn. Fact is, Sneed probably pushes the stylistic envelope more than his saxman peers, particularly on the Bitches Brew–meets-electronica exploration of "Bubba Dubois," which gets my vote for best song title of the embryonic year. Even the fluegelhorn and soprano interplay between Dennis Dotson and Sneed on the slinky title track suggests flights of freethinking fancy not typically associated with the conservative field. But elsewhere, Brothers rides a comfortable groove, most notably on the silky, exquisitely sensitive instrumental take of Madonna / Babyface's "Take a Bow" and the slab of '80-style funk of "Might As Well." The biggest disappointment is that Sneed took the safe route with his self-issued debut; a musician of incredible dexterity, Sneed could have recorded any number of styles, even an update of the old Texas Tenor tradition, which seems to be lying moribund right under our noses. If not the likes of Sneed, then who?
— Tim Carman