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Cinque: Catch A Corner
Joey DeFrancesco, Steve Gadd, Peter Cardinali, Robi Botos, John Johnson

A new musical project is always an easy sell in our area when Joey DeFrancesco is part of it. Now add famed drummer Steve Gadd to the mix. That should be enough, right? In the case of Cinque, a group formed by Toronto-based record producer Peter Cardinali, those two musicians are just the bow that ties this funky package together. The Canadian contingent on this record is no joke.

Cardinali is a seasoned bassist and arranger who has worked with famous musicians of all genres. He went for the "cream of the crop" while dreaming up this project for Alma Records, and chose Robi Botos for piano/Rhodes and John Johnson to play sax. Both of these musicians have floor-skimming resumes as well.

The result is a swinging, funky, gospel-inspired album that simply has a nice groove through-and-through. Most of the compositions were a group collaboration inspired by standard melodies and taken to another level.

Since many in the band have toured extensively with pop artists, a cover or two is appropriate. And these guys do the opposite of what most jazz arrangers do when it comes to Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years"- they turn it into a bluesy, heartfelt groove and have a nice romp while mimicking the lyrics. This record is fun all around, even when it is being serious.--Maureen