In some ways, Buffalo, New York is the most unlikely of places to spawn jazz artists and yet over the years there have been some phenomenal musicians who first called Buffalo home. Sherrie Maricle of the Diva Jazz Orchestra and Tom Schuman from Spyro Gyra are two artists who once hailed from this city that sits in the shadow of Niagara Falls. You can now add to that list the name of saxophonist Jack Prybylski.
If Window Shopping is any indication, Prybylski is here to stay. Prybylski blows sweet notes on tenor, soprano and alto saxes. If you are a connoisseur of smooth jazz and not the mundane elevator music that sometimes poses on radio station and imposes upon our ears, then you will want to dial into Prybylski.
The Ken Navarro-penned "Bright Spot" is a lively and cheery song that bears Navarro’s smooth guitar licks. The harmony is seamless between Prybylski’s tenor horn and Navarro’s strings. During his stellar career, Navarro has watched four of his albums reach top five ranking with smooth jazz radio and another one climb to number nine. "Bright Spot" is a song that Prybylski refers to as an honor to include on his album. It was also the first single released to radio.
The title track "Window Shopping" is one of those songs that you can listen to any individual instrumentalist and still find joy in the song. Prybylski sparkles on all three of his horns. I simply cannot say enough about the magnificent electric piano and keyboard chops of Jay Rowe. Reggie Evans’ drumming like a gentle flowing brook beckons to the listener. Navarro and Glenn Bernardis (bass) compliment each other well.
It should come as no surprise after listening to the multi layered "Window Shopping" to hear Prybylski say, "Regardless of whether the genre is classical, pop or jazz the thing that really stirs me is the chord arrangement and the orchestration. The more complex texture wise (a chart) is it strikes more of a chord within me than someone just playing a guitar."
"Window Shopping" was co-authored by Prybylski and Horace Alexander Young. Young’s large instrumental vocabulary is evident as he helped co-write two additional tunes "Santa Faustina" and "I Need You". Young is not only a composer, but he is also adept in woodwinds, keys and percussion. "Santa Faustina" combines Prybylski’s love for Latin music with his Polish heritage. Saint Faustina is a Polish saint and the songwriter simply changed Saint to Santa to give the title a Latin flavor. The passion and bright colors that imbue "Saint Faustina" is representative of the qualities that first attracted Prybylski to this style of music.
Prybylski wrote new arrangements for his cover of "I Wish". The song boasts a sassy brass section, featuring Harry Fackelman (alto sax), Prybylski (alto sax), Jim Runfola (tenor sax), trumpeter Rick Keller and trombonist Jeff Marsha. The horns call out and Kevin Prince’s cymbals respond. Jay Rowe is elegant on the keys.
"Space Lion" was originally written for the Japanese anime series "Cowboy Bebop." The final arrangement relies heavily on programming as African and percussion samplings are evident. It is an interesting tune. I still have not passed final judgment on this song and I am not sure if I will ever reach a verdict.
Realizing the intent of this CD is to highlight Jack Prybylski’s saxophone and his skills as a composer, I nevertheless feel compelled to say I would have moved the song "Don’t Say No" up a little closer to the beginning of the CD. The song provides the listener with the first opportunity to appreciate J.J. Moscato’s incredible R&B/jazz vocals. If your wife, girlfriend or sister has a weak heart do not let her listen to this guy sing! He has the kind of voice that prompts fantasies in women’s minds concerning what the man at the other end of the voice looks like. Prybylski uses superlatives such as "great" and "phenomenal" to describe Moscato’s vocal contributions.