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Double Take

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Critics' Reviews

amg review
There's no shortage of smooth jazz royalty guesting on Joe McBride's brisk and bouncy Double Take, but for once it might be nice to hear some of those first-rate melodies and nimble improvisational jaunts over rhythm pockets created by a real drum kit. Beyond the over-reliance on electronica, however, this is the kind of disc proving that genre artists can create picture-perfect pop as well as hearty, straight-ahead jazz licks. Not that he can't achieve melodic perfection on his own, but the presence of Peter White, Rick Braun, Dave Koz, Richard Elliot, and Phil Perry give extra push to the tunes as McBride engages in playful harmonic duels and spirited call and response patterns with them. Throughout "Midnight in Madrid," McBride plays a few notes on the ivories before Braun echoes him with a distant flügelhorn, all over White's graceful acoustic commentary. "Just for the Koz" runs like a sly dance number between the saxman's gentle soprano and McBride's own elegant funk, which echo each other before joining for a rousing chorus. A little more muscle comes in the form of Richard Elliot's tenor (which McBride equals on "A Taste of Jazz" with more low-register keyboard runs) and the gospel vocals of Phil Perry. As several cuts show, McBride is a fine crooner; on "Hold on to the One You love," Perry's sheer power challenges the pianist to reach even higher. ~ Jonathan Widran, Rovi