You are here:Home>CD Reviews>Smooth Jazz - CD Reviews>Dig A Little Deeper by The Groovechasers

Dig A Little Deeper by The Groovechasers

The Groovechasers, a sextet from England, is certainly a group that lives up to its name. On the CD Dig A Little Deeper the Groovechasers seem to be "chasing" a number of different grooves as the basis of their music making. While the music of the Groovechasers is pleasant, the listener will not find much new or particularly inventive here. While the group chases and achieves different grooves, most of what they perform is rather familiar and formulaic music that attempts to sound at times like the "soul" jazz of the late 1950’s and 1960’s to the "instrumental soul" sounds of twenty-first century light jazz.

The opening track, "Feels Like Coming Home" sounds very much like a new tune bonded over the harmonic and rhythmic framework of the Joe Zawinul/Adderly Brothers classic "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy." "Simple Soulman" brings to mind the music of Stevie Wonder from the 1970’s. "Move Over Mr. B" is an interesting combination of jazz/rock rhythms alternating with fast swing passages underlying the solos, and to this listener, may be the best track on Dig A Little Deeper. "Same Old Broad," and "Voodoo Dance," however provide little in the way of musical/creative interest and give the listener pause to ponder and anticipate when will the same old voodoo you do come to an end. The title cut, "Dig A Little Deeper" has some nice intricate bass work, however the horns sound like they are attempting "pick up the pieces" of 1970’s funk/disco music. The two final cuts, "Midnight on the Bayou," and "Rondo Alphonso" continue the same formulae as the previous six cuts, although "Rondo Alphonso" tends to have something of a Latin tinge to it.

This listener is not certain who the likely audience for Dig A Little Deeper would be. The CD certainly has a repetitive litany of tunes that fit into a consistent groove. Many of the tunes are at nearly identical tempi, and melodic ideas tend to vary little from one selection to the next. Improvised sections demonstrate momentary brilliance, however soloists never really push beyond a pedestrian level. Aficionado’s of forward thinking mainstream jazz and creative musical adventure would likely find that Dig A Little Deeper, doesn’t quite dig deep enough and is somewhat a disappointment.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: The Groovechasers
  • CD Title: Dig A Little Deeper
  • Genre: Smooth Jazz
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Jazz Connections
  • Tracks: Feels Like Coming Home, Move Over Mr. B, Simple Soulman, Same Old Broad, Voodoo Dance, Dig A Little Deeper, Midnight On The Bayou, Rondo Alphonso
  • Musicians: John Bowles (guitars), Bryan Chattam (drums and percussion), Fred Cogger (alto and tenor saxophone), John Elmer (soprano, alto and tenor saxophone), Tony Harlow (bass guitar), Andy Wall (keyboards), Richard Studhoime (guest electric guitar)
  • Rating: Two Stars
Login to post comments