With an authentic old-school feel, the rhythm section and the big tenor saxophone sound of Art Edmaiston lend the trio a relaxed laid-back feel, even when things get lively. Another original, “Starlight Motel,” slows things down with its melting guitar/saxophone harmonies, while a cover of Bill Jennings' “633 Knock!” showcase's solidly bluesy, Southern-spiked elixir of Joe's soulful soloing.
The sexy Latin treatment of “I Hear A Rhapsody” reveals the versatility of the quartet. Tom Lonardo's soft rhythmic gyrations on the drums bring a sweet and natural sounding ambience to this track. “Tiny's Tempo” brings a harder drive to the album, with Tim Goodwin anchoring the band on bass. Joe's intricate fingering work during the intro to “A Few Questions” leads us into a Latin-swing groove, and down a rabbit hole of harmonic twists and turns that never leaves us behind or loses its form.
“House Of The Rising Sun,” a staple of folk/blues artists, comes alive as Joe's arrangement sends us waltzing into a glorified swing. The tone of Art Edmaiston's solo on this track brings a true blue jazz depth to the song. Finally, “People Make The World Go 'Round,” a soul/pop hit of the 70s, carries this musical journey to a gritty, bluesy, yet contemporary end. With his fast fingering and “in-your-face” approach, Joe Restivo reminds us of the world we live in, covering a wide spectrum of genres, all riding on the wings of his strings.
He also leads the Joe Restivo 4 at Lafayette's Music Room on Sunday, July 28, and every Sunday morning, 10:30 - 2:00.