Global Review
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Global Review

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The best kept secret in music


"Eclectic and full of funk"

Eclectic and full of funk, Global Review is something more than just a jam band, especially now that they’ve got a studio album, Transcend. Known for lush grooves encompassing a variety of musical styles from jazz to funk to reggae, their first professional album won’t disappoint their following, and it might win a few converts.

Global Review is Aaron Davis, vocals and guitar; Justin Fantl, bass; Jason Fritts, sax; Matt Kramer, keys; and Brad Jezek on drums. They have a little help on Transcend in the form of flautist Janie O’Shei, vocalist Sarah Geigel and percussionist Barry Lewis.

At once ethereal, gritty and funky, Transcend brings to mind certain cuts by Beck, Phish and Dave Matthews, although with more jazz-fusion. The tracks seem arranged to lead into and out of one , “Cinque Da Terre,” an ultra-clean jazzy number, and “Liberty,” a narrative waltz-ballad, all of which all stand out in style and tempo, the album almost sounds like one awesome single-song jam.

The defining characteristic is texture. Aside from the five-style pile-up, which leads to things like track four – a hybrid seemingly the result of Peter Tosh drinking in Dublin with Gene Kelly – there seem billions of effects and layers to Global Review’s sound on this album. Though its totem plant would be sagebrush, Transcend is a rainforest of sound. Even the vocals feel effects.

One particularly interesting track was “Country.” It begins with odd spacey notes and effects, then punches into a driving bass line, and holds nuggets of solo sax and strange guitar solos. Speaking of which, some of the guitar solos are truly odd to my ears – not bad, just odd. When the guitar is in a rhythm role, it busts out some great pro-gressions, but at one point in the title track, a guitar solo seemed awkward.

The album was recorded and mastered within the Intermountain West and has excellent production value, probably way better than the bootleg versions of live shows that are certainly running around the valley. Global Review hosts a CD release party on Sept. 8 at 43 North.
- Planet Jackson Hole Weekly

"Global Review Celebrates New CD"

Imagine smoking a cigarette in an opera-length holder while loosely clasping a snifter of brandy next to your sexy skirt. Put on the jazz record. Or lounging in a fishing boat with a bottle of beer. Put on the funk and grooves. Or dancing in a hula skirt and coconut bra and sipping on a Mai Tai. Put on the reggae rock.

In Global Review’s debut studio album, Transcend, the music takes the listener to all parts of globe, in all sorts of wild places.

“The lyrics reflect a time of travel and experiencing new places for me personally,” said frontman Aaron Davis, “as well as a fascination with the vastness of the West and the state of our country at the time.”

“Life West,” for example, is a song about searching. “It was six years ago this time, first drove out West in a beat-up ride. What is it about these open lands? Flows from the ground into the mind.” Or in “Cinque da Terre,” the songs starts, “Wish I was a fisher man on the Cinque da Terre crystal sea / all I need is a boat with me.”

Global Review holds a CD release party beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday with a meet and greet followed by a performance at 10 p.m. at 43 North. There is no cover. Davis’ adventures inspired much of the album’s music. From 2001-2004, he composed the lyrics and music to eleven songs, and one collaboration with bassist Justin Fantl called “Windy Grass.”

“But a couple of the tunes were written while backpacking Europe, [like] ‘Cinque da Terre’ –a place on the Mediterranean Sea in Italy,” Davis said. “And ‘Wanna Leave What I Got’ is a fictitious story about hitch-hiking Ireland and leaving all the convenient things in life. There’s an important lesson in living out of a backpack—it’s humbling and eye-opening.”

The band’s diverse musical blend of funk, groove, reggae, rock and jazz is Global Review. Davis, Fantl, Jason Fritts, Brad Jezek and Matt Kramer have been entertaining Jackson Hole with live, original music since 2002. Some of the guest players on the album are alto flutist Janie O’Shea, supporting vocalist Sarah Geigel and percussionist Barry Lewis. The album was locally recorded at Marshall Davis’ Double Wide Studios and produced by Aaron and Marshall.

“Global Review has always been a live band with focus on original material and taking some chances,” Davis said. “I think the album has a very live feel and we certainly took some chances in the studio with various tools.”

The band, for example, included three jazz instrumentals on the album.

“Songwriting is a huge challenge for me,” Davis said, “and composing instrumentals is such a different approach. The song must sing without words.”

The album is available at Mountunes and Main Event in Jackson and Big Hole Music in Driggs. Online, you can snag one at or on iTunes.
- Jackson Hole News & Guide


"Transcend" (2006) - Debut, full-length studio album, Radio Tracks: Wanna Leave What I Got, Life West, Soul Stepper


Feeling a bit camera shy


Underneath the towering Teton Mountains in Jackson Hole, Wyoming lies an active little town full of gifted musicians. With mountain scenery providing immediate inspiration, the members of Global Review joined forces in 2002 to pioneer their own sound and compose crafty tunes. Originally drawing from early funk and jazz purveyors like James Brown, Grant Green, The Funky Meters, Herbie Hancock, Booker T and the MG's, and the Greyboy Allstars, the quintet came out of the gates strong with loads of experimentation and groove, but change was upon them.

As more influences crept in and ideas spawned new compositions, the band became much more eclectic. The sound is gravitating, multi-directional, deeply rooted in funky jazz-rock soil, but running circles around the genre wheel into blues, reggae, Latin, and occasionally, alt-country. What you hear today is a well-rehearsed, tight unit of focused musicians that approach the music song by song, regardless of whether they all fit neatly into one box.

With hard work, came rewards. The band was asked to open for Willie Nelson on Labor Day of 2005, exposing them to thousands of new listeners and earning them an annual tour with Wyoming's International Stage Stop Sled Dog Race. Yep, a unique culture of its own in Wyoming, the band travels each January to ten towns across Wyoming and Utah entertaining mushing fans and athletes.

From edgy-funk instrumental "Bolivian Gangsta," reggae-friendly backpacking tune "Wanna Leave What I Got," politically-slanted "Country" and "Liberty," to indie-rock tinged "Golden Stone," country-funk anthem “Still Drinkin’ Your Whiskey,” and singer-songwriter tune "Cinque da Terre," the styles and arrangements escape any one format. For certain, it's music you'll want to dance to. Debut studio album, "Transcend," was released in August of 2006 and continues to receive great reviews.

The band was featured on Don Woods' NPR show as well as local stations KMTN and KZ95.

Their genuine stage presence and willingness to make any audience feel apart of the music keeps the band in high demand in the Rocky Mountains.