Not being a real trumpet aficionado (there only a few that really catch my interest, Miles, Dizzy, Rick Braun, Greg Adams, Chris Botti and a handful of others), I have to say that Eric Bolvin is quite impressive. This album does well in showcasing some top tier moments in the studio for him as well. No slouch by any stretch of the imagination, it offers some bite.
One thing this album doesn’t lack is pure, unadulterated energy. It kicks off blaring bravado and thick bottom on "Catwalk." I have to say, however, that as nice a job as Bolvin did with track two, Earth, Wind & Fire’s classic "That’s the Way of the World," I think I’ve heard enough covers of that tune to last me a lifetime! I’m sure that EWF’s royalty coffers runneth over by now. Even another EWF cover would have sufficed.
The album does also offer other covers, as well and they are as tastefully done (Stevie Wonder’s "As," Donald Fagen’s "The Goodbye Look," and the great, late Marvin Gaye’s "What’s Going On"). A lot of the bite to which I earlier referred can be found in Bolvin’s originals ("Sanazzay," "Toejam," and a good deal of the opening track), as well as that offered on the covers he provides. Oh, I’ve heard funkier tunes, without a doubt, but the material is well chosen and/or composed and performed and contains what I feel constitutes a good balance between raw funk and just good ol’ smooth jazz. I think he’s on to something here.