Sons of Sound
Guitarist Bob Sneider and vibraphonist Joe Locke co-lead the Film Noir Project. Their disc Fallen Angel approaches that cinematic genre from a unique perspective. With pianist Paul Hofmann, trumpeter John Sneider, tenor saxist Grant Stewart, bassist Phil Flanigan and drummer Mike Melito, the two principals explore movie themes by Jerry Goldsmith, John Barry, Dave Grusin, Vladimir Cosma and others. Fittingly for film noir, the mood is dark, sexy and vaguely ominous, beginning with Locke’s title track, one of two group originals. Locke plays “Katya,” the love theme from “The Russia House,” as a multi-tracked solo piece. Sneider and Hofmann, recalling their two inspired duo discs (Interconnection and Escapade), join forces on Hofmann’s “Last Kiss” and Grusin’s “Hurricane Country.” Otherwise it’s an ensemble affair, with several of the band members chipping in arrangements. Stewart’s brawny tenor on “Body Heat” and “Farewell, My Lovely” is a standout. So is Sneider’s poignant guitar melody and solo on Mark Isham’s “Les Modernes,” not to mention his unaccompanied intro on Tomasz Stanko’s “A Farewell to Maria.” Harmonically and rhythmically savvy as they come, Sneider also has an uncommonly pure, three-dimensional archtop sound. All his projects are worth hearing.