The Andy Rothstein Group
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The Andy Rothstein Group

Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Jazz Fusion

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"Voodoo Tone"

Andy Rothstein has been playing the guitar for twenty-five years, as a sideman in rock bands and as leader of Mary's Magnet. His current perspective, however, captures a wider range as he brings in rock, country and Latin music to his beat.

Rothstein's aim is well served. His dexterity and technique on the guitar blood the tunes. He lets melodies fly out and open and when he gets into the thicker textures, he uses feedback and chunky chords to coil and strike. But Rothstein also plays the acoustic guitar with a great measure of sensitivity seen to advantage on #1. The country song slides in on the guitar and Link's vocals. The lyrics are wrapped in the sentiment that marks country music, but Link keeps it from being maudlin with his phrasing. Rothstein adds the icing with his melodic interludes before he switches to the electric guitar, adds rock riffs and takes the tune out.

Rothstein assimilates jazz, rock and even a lick of funk on Brain Power. The arrangement is interesting, letting the elements sidle against each other and reverberate positively. Rothstein stays firmly in the groove whether it is rock or heavy metal, making the transition with facile ease.

Giant Steps gives the band the leeway to improvise. Rothstein shows enough creativity to keep it interesting as he nudges the boundaries and then delves back to the melody. The drum programming is another thing altogether, being not very perspicacious to the needs of the composition. Rothstein wanted to keep the music on this recording pure and simple within the larger framework of fusion. In this he succeeds well enough.


Track listing: Brain Power; If Not Now, Then When; Voodoo tone; #1; Retro Fuso; Absinthe; Mojito; Giant Steps.

Personnel: Andy Rothstein: electric and acoustic guitars; Tony Senatore: bass; Lou Petto: drums; Link: vocals (2, 4); Tom Timko: alto, tenor and baritone saxophones (1, 7); Steve Jankowski: trumpet (1, 7); Bob Nelson: keyboards (8); Frank Fagnano: organ (4, 6); Tom Gioia: drum programming (8): Vinnie Zummo: rhythm instruments on track 8. - All About Jazz (Jerry D'Souza)


"Wit of the Staircase"

Andy Rothstein
Wit of The Staircase

Jazz is challenging to the people that create it and the fans that listen to it. I know you are probably thinking why would I want to be challenged as listener, after all isn’t it supposed to be relaxing and fun? Well Wit of The Staircase is all of that and then some.
The overall jazz experience is enjoyable in many ways and artists like Andy Rothstein allow you to discover and explore every facet of the genre by offering up a cross section of sounds through an all-instrumental expedition into jazz-rock-fusion.
Just as he did on his previous release Voodoo Tone three years ago Rothstein takes his guitar to jazz paradise and beyond in a very sophisticated way. It never hurts to have amazing support by other competent musicians and as it turns out that is the one underlying factor that makes this CD everything it can possibly be.
With stalwart players such as Tony Senatore (bass), Van Romane (drums), Manolo Badrena (percussion), Lew Soloff (trumpet), Tom Hammer (keyboards), Tom Timko (saxophones), Steve Jankowski (trumpet), Erik Lawrence (saxophone), Luther Rix (drums) and Pete Levin (organ), the inevitable transpires with relative ease and grace leaving you with music magic that will satisfy even the most discerning jazz audiophile.
“Compass” points the way to a jazz fusion wonderland and the others then follow while “Word for Word” invites you to rock, surf, and take in some jazz while windsurfing on your favorite tropical island paradise. The next trip then turns it all upside down with a more traditional swinging jazz number “Just Friends” (although they sound like lovers to me). That is the kind of diversity that is consistently presented on this CD.
Andy and his all star cast serve this entire musical meal up in the most precise yet playful fashion. Jazz is supposed to be for serious musicians, but fear not, every one of these gents have their chops down and give every genre they represent true justice. When Wit of The Staircase is done you feel like you just got the grand tour of jazz and all the sub genres all in one sitting. This is an excellent listen worth many more spins after the first. You would be well advised to check this out several times before you decide that nothing was missed along the way.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
©MuzikReviews.com - Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck


Discography

Andy Rothstein - Wit of the Staircase - Vermicious Knid Records (2009)

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/andyrothstein2

Andy Rothstein - Voodoo Tone
Vermicious Knid Records (2006)

http://www.cdbaby.com/andyrothstein

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Bio

Andy Rothstein has played guitar since the age of 13, and studied with such jazz greats as Steve Khan, Kevin Eubanks, Vinnie Zummo and Ted Dunbar. His 2009 release fuses straight ahead bebop with funk and rock stylings, and features a dynamic lineup including Manolo Badrena (percussion), Tom Hammer (keyboards), Steve Jankowski (trumpet), Erik Lawrence (saxophone), Pete Levin (organ/piano), Tony Senatore (bass), Andy Snitzer (saxophone), Lew Soloff (trumpet), Luther Rix (drums), Van Romaine (drums) and Tom Timko (saxophone).