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Now And Zen by Zen Dadio

To the casual observer Zen Dadio's name may create images of a group of New Age hipsters. To the careful listener, however, it appears that the group, through its tightly arranged, swinging, beat-generation influenced material, is set to redefine the Art of Jazz. Presenting as its debut, independent CD release, Now And Zen was recorded in a single evening earlier this year. It features 12 eclectic, original compositions by reedsman Rick Arbuckle which have been honed to listener fulfilling, radio friendly lengths. The Californian quintet consisting of Rick Arbuckle (C-Melody saxophone, alto, flute and word jazz), Ken Rosser (guitar), Chad Edwards (piano, keyboards), Richard J. Frank (acoustic bass) and Steve Arbuckle (drums) admirably show the chemistry a regularly working group has to offer. All players have brought their extensive musical experience to this session which is readily combined to produce the swinging and grooving music heard on this CD. The tight rhythm section drives each soloist, while still maintaining the momentum throughout each number. Each soloist, while still making their own personal statement, remains faithful to the style and form of each tune. Rick's personal word jazz adds an interesting extra texture to Zen Dadio's overall sound. Tunes on the CD are - 1) Beach Ball - a cool, swinging tune featuring brushes and Rick's word jazz. 2) Stock Bop - a Latin/Swing instrumental with strong sax, guitar and piano solos. 3) Boy Meets Girl - a Herbie Mann-ish, blues-based tune featuring flute, organ sounds and another example of word jazz. 4) Dr. Sax - guitar and sax combine to state this straight ahead, medium paced melody. 5) Coastal Dimout - Bopish word jazz about WWII with some great 'free' blowing at the end. 6) Tenderfoot - a beautiful ballad with a Bossa rhythm featuring some tasty acoustic guitar. 7) True Crimes - a funky tune featuring more organ sounds and word jazz. 8) Agony Of Authority - an in the groove, blues-based shuffle with some fuzz-tone guitar. 9) Deja Voodoo - a punchy, Bopish, straight ahead number. 10) 1957 - a swing ballad featuring sax and guitar solos. 11) Spiderbite Walk - a cool, swinging blues featuring flute and guitar combination. 12) Aristotle's Prison - features accented rhythms, tight straight ahead ensemble playing and another fine example of word jazz. This is definitely not the laid back LA-type jazz we may have come to expect from so many other Californian releases. Zen Dadio have absorbed influences of the 50s and 60s and distilled it into their own brand of jazz for all to enjoy. At present this CD is distributed independently and is available only as an import (in Australia). Write to Boho Records C/- 1317 Highgate Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90042 or try DoubleTime Jazz at on the internet. (Boho Records4951 Total Time: 54:50)

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Zen Dadio
  • CD Title: Now And Zen
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 1997
  • Record Label: Unknown
  • Rating: Four Stars
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