Mystery Feet
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Mystery Feet

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Mystery Feet, Walk the Walk, U Dig Records<BR><BR>The debate rages on, even after I've listened to "Walk the Walk" more than a handful of times; Is improvisational Avon-based Mystery Feet a by-the-book "Jam band", or is it a funky jazz band? Or, is it possible they could be a little of both?<BR> According to the instrumental band's members, bassist Craig Garfinkel, guitar player Frank Varela, keyboard king Jonathan Chatfield and kitman Scott Allshouse, all of whom would otherwise try to avoid th whole categorization issue altogether, in the end, they're a jazz band.<BR> On "Walk the Walk", a versatile, hip, and extraordinarily complex album, recorded in such a way as to capture, as much as possible, the band's live sound, it's purest sound, rock, blues, and even Latin music and smooth jazz can all be detected. What stands out in particular on "Walk the Walk", aside from the practically scientific bass lines, as provided by Garfinkel, is the masterful keyboard strokings of Chatfield.<BR> Of "Walk the Walk"'s eight tracks, the blues-fueled "The Gospel Truth", the smooth and groovy "Mariana", and the title track, six minutes and 40 seconds of pure funk attitude, are the most impressive. And to think this is Mystery Feet's first record! Believe you me, you'll like what these guys are serving up, and you'll be itching for seconds after your CD player's worn this record out. - Chris Harris


A little more in a straight jazz-fusion mode is the highly proficient Mystery Feet, an extremely accomplished quartet. While they don't have the raw edge that a lot of today's jambands have, they can certainly play. The sleeve notes to their debut disc were written by jazz-fusion legend Larry Coryell, which should be an indication of just how good they are; he also guests on one track (the ten minute "Angelina Park"). The band repays the compliment by covering Coryell's "The Dragon Gate". There are no overt surprises here (except, perhaps, that these guys are stunning players), but the music should appeal to fusion fans and beyond, especially if you enjoy the music of Steve Kimock, Zero and artists of that ilk. They demonstrate that they can saunter deftly into jamband territory with the 11-minute "Walk the Walk", which closes the album. The band's website is www.mysteryfeet.com or you can send mail to PO Box 1611, Avon, CT 06001. - Mick Skidmore


Mystery Feet brought just the right blend of taste and sheer musicianship to The Block Island Music Festival's Saturday night roster. Their incredible musicianship stood out among the 47 other bands on the schedule. Mystery Feet's was a set to remember. - Marc Scortino, Producer


Mystery Feet
WALK THE WALK—UDIG Records
w e b s i t e : w w w . m y s t e r y f e e t . c o m ;
craig@mysteryfeet.com; PO Box 1611, Avon,
CT 06001. The Dragon Gate; Walk The Walk;
Mariana; Angelina Park; The Gospel Truth;
Stellar Dreams; The Chicken; Walk The Walk
Reprise.
PERSONNEL: Craig Garfinkel, bass; Frank
Varela, guitar; Jonathan Chatfield, Hammond
Organ and Fender Rhodes Piano; Scott Allshouse,
drums; congas; Larry Coryell, guitar
(“Angelina Park”); Bill Holloman, tenor sax,
baritone sax, trumpets, trombone; Rob Fried,
percussion.
By Winthrop Bedford
“well-rehearsed,
impressive debut release.”
Mystery Feet is a spirited group of musicians
from the Hartford, Connecticut area. Their
music bubbles over with the sounds of funk,
jazz, fusion, Latin and other elements. Walk The
Walk is the group’s well-rehearsed, impressive
debut release. The CD sports tight ensemble
work, and provides a healthy helping of solos in
a variety of grooves and settings. Each of the
group’s members sounds confident, imparting
authenticity of each and every of the assimilated
musical genres that compose their sound. This
might be expected given the academic backgrounds
and pedigrees from Berklee College of
Music that each of the members share, and a
degree from the Eastman School of Music for
keyboardist Jonathan Chatfield. Moreover, as
any quality jazz release requires, the solos
throughout the album evidence experience, an
understanding of developing musically melodic
and harmonically developed lines, interplay and
sensitivity among each of the members of the
group—bassist Garfinkel, guitarist Frank Varela
and keyboardist Jonathan Chatfield.
The CD opens with “The Dragon Gate” an
energized modal piece in 3/4, composed by
Larry Coryell, who appears as a guest soloist
elsewhere on this CD. Bassist Garfinkel and
drummer Scott Allshouse are locked in to provide
a solid rhythmic foundation. Solos follow
by Chatfield on Fender Rhodes piano, and Frank
Varela on guitar, and bassist Craig Garfinkel.
Garfinkel demonstrates that he is both a driving
ensemble player on electric bass, as well as a
confident soloist.
The composition credits on the next track,
“Walk The Walk” go to each of the member of
Mystery Feet—a tip of the hat to the jamband
nature of their efforts. Each of the members of
the band gets a solo feature on this one—
demonstrating that the music, and specifically
melodic solos, takes precedence over the idea of
making their work a showcase for technique—
with which each member is amply gifted.
“The Gospel Truth” another original by
Varela, is a down-tempo, funky backbeat blues.
Chatfield contributes a fitting solo on Hammond
B3, followed a solo by Varela on guitar.
“Mariana” is a funky, straight eighth groover,
reminiscent of the kind of energy George Benson
generated on his highly-successful mid
1970s albums. Varela and keyboardist Chatfield
serve up compelling solos. Another Varela original,
“Stellar Dreams” open with a laid-back
rock, straight-eight groove, and blossoms into a
bright, festive samba-like showcase for a Fender
Rhoades solo by Chatfield, followed by composer
Varela’s tasteful and fitting guitar excursion.
“The Chicken” features a horn section—
saxes, trumpet, trombone—each played and
overdubbed by Bill Holloman.
“Angelina Park” is a Varela original which
features guest Larry Coryell. Expectedly, he fits
right in, while adding name-recognition value to
this release—supporting Mystery Feet’s marketing
efforts. Apparently Varela developed his
appreciation for Coryell’s work years ago when
he heard him on a Herbie Mann album entitled
“Memphis Underground.” Incidentally, Larry
Coryell also wrote the liner notes for this noteworthy
first release by Mystery Feet.
REVIEWS EVIEWS OF RECORDINGS ECORDINGS
114 V4N2 l Jazz Improv ®, 491 Old York Rd, Jenkintown, Pa 19046 l tel: 215-887-8808 l fax: 215-887-8803 l e-mail: jazz@jazzimprov.com l www.jazzimprov.com

- Jazz Improv Magazine


Discography

New release, entitled "Upstream", due out October 2006. Very special guests Lenny White, Joel Rosenblatt and DJ Logic.

Mystery Feet "Walk the Walk"
U Dig Records - released 10/2001

"Mariana" from Walk the Walk
#1 on the MP3.com Jazz Charts
18,000+ plays January 2002

Photos

Bio

It had long been the desire of bassist Craig Garfinkel to bring together a group of musicians whose dedication and enthusiasm for improvisational music was matched by their abilities on their instruments. With the forming of Mystery Feet that desire has been realized. The three musicians enlisted to complete the ensemble, Frank Varela on guitar, Jonathan Chatfield on keyboards and Scott Allshouse on drums, each bring to the project a passion for the music that is equaled only by their considerable talents.
Speaking of the music…one might be curious as to exactly what kind of improvisational music Mystery Feet serves up. Although the band is quite content to not fit neatly into any particular category, it is fair to say that ultimately Mystery Feet is a jazz band. On their recent debut release on U Dig Records, “Walk the Walk”, the goal was to make the recording as “live” sounding as practicable, so that the record accurately reflects the band’s organic sound. As for styles, there are compositions that would fit neatly into the rotation of “smooth jazz” stations, as well as some burning selections that are more suitable for jazz listeners of a more varied sophistication. The sound of the band is very electric and non-traditional, built around the electric guitar and supported by keyboard sounds centered around the Hammond organ and Fender Rhodes piano. With this instrumentation the group is quite reminiscent of the fusion groups of the seventies and the acid jazz groups of today. Mystery Feet combines jazz, funk, blues, latin and rock influenced grooves into their own unique presentation.
Each musician brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Mystery Feet. Garfinkel, Allshouse and Varela have all studied at the Berklee College of Music, and Chatfield is a graduate of the Oberlin School of Music. All have been playing professionally since their early teens which, depending on the individual, was either a very long time ago or just a decade or so past.
The group itself has been together for just over a year, with roughly half that time spent recording the album. Mystery Feet has had the great honor of having jazz guitar legend Larry Coryell appear as a guest soloist on Frank Varela’s composition “Angelina Park”. Larry also wrote the liner notes for the album, and his gracious guidance has been greatly appreciated.
Although the most exciting thing about this project for each of the members is that they are playing their own music in their own style they also have a collectively strong desire to share the music with as many people as possible. Speaking to fans and potential fans of Mystery Feet, Garfinkel says “we promise to give everything we have to give musically, and hopefully what we have to give is exactly what the listener was hoping to get”.
Mystery Feet has been performing mostly in and around the Hartford, CT area, but it is their fervent desire to “hit the road” and expand their universe as much as is possible.