March 1999

Jeff Jarvis
Following Footsteps
Amherst Records

Smoky, muted tones have emerged as the modern voice of the classic jazz trumpet, which is one of the reasons why the straightforward, melodic tones of Jeff Jarvis on Following Footsteps (Amherst Records AMH 5503-2; 57:51) come as such a surprise. A well-practiced studio sideman for soulsters like Lou Rawls and the O'Jays, Jarvis blows a warm, pop riff on "One Hundred Ways" (which sounds like Chuck Mangione backed by a George Benson jingling guitar riff), and funky blasts recalling Earth, Wind & Fire on "Powder Keg." Grant Geissman's gentle guitar work provides the technical complement to Jarvis' melodic leads on pieces like the Isley Brothers' "For the Love of You," and the slower-paced "The Test of Time." Other stellar supporting cast members include Bob Mintzer (alto flute on a fine read of Stevie Wonder's "Creepin'"), bassist Freddie Washington and keyboardist Ellen Rowe all of whom help Jarvis' Footsteps to echo with the welcome resonance of '70s pop and soul brass.

Originally published in March 1999
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