Contemporary Jazz.com Jim Savitt - Review of "Hear & Now" (NightCast Records)
Sometimes the best music can be found on CD’s that aren’t released on major labels. A good example is the first full length CD from New York based guitarist Jim Savitt. As a follow up to Savitt’s 1998 Ep The Way Home Savitt really impressed me with his playing and compositions. Writing or co writing 11 out of the 12 tracks there are some various different styles that Savitt shows us on Hear & Now, but one consistent is I found the music pretty and melodic. Take "From The Heart." There is a little bit of a Spanish twinge to it coming from Savitt’s acoustic guitar (sounds like it could be nylon string) with some delicate licks by David Mann on sax adding just the right spice to it. Another track with a similar feel, but more up tempo is "What Could Be" which is a flamingo style piece. Savitt plays all the parts on this one. His guitar playing is top notch and his fingering is very clean which lends itself well to the acoustic guitar. "Looking Back" might be my favorite, but I’m not sure because I like quite a few of the tracks. Lanny Ward adds the right flavor of sax licks as a back up. It’s a moving mid tempo piece that you can really in vision a story from. I hear quite a few different other guitar players in Savitt’s playing.
The press kit mentions Peter White and Marc Antoine. I hear some Craig Chaquico in him. In ‘Was It You" I hear Pat Metheny in both the color of the composition as well as the playing. Very cool! Other good songs include "SoHo," 'In The House" and "Awakening." The CD is worth checking out and Smooth Jazz radio should pay attention to this CD because there a lot of good tunes on this CD. If they don’t shame on them. Savitt studied at the Berklee School of Music and has a degree from Stevens Institute Of Technology where he was the musical director of their 17 piece jazz band. Recently Savitt was commissioned to compose music for Any Channel, an interactive entertainment company developing a video game for a multi-players CD-ROM machine. His scores have been incorporated into their alien infested combat-action game plus The Endless Advantage, Inc. a music service provider regularly featured his compositions. You can hear some MP3's from this disc as well as purchase it from Savitt's web site www.jimsavitt.com
Jazz Exodus Jim Savitt - "Hear & Now" Review (NightCast Records)
Straight outta New York comes this contemporary, world rhythm guitarist & keyboardist. He wastes very little time bringing the noise on his very melodic and energetic debut release. With a dozen tracks to choose from, his flair for improvisation and phrasing is a glaring characteristic throughout much of the CD. The ones that really grab me in the collar with excitement are " Awakening, " "So Long," "What Could Be," as well as the one that will really rock your world, "This Time."
Jim is virtually a one-man show, filling the lines of all the instrumentation. The audible illusion of a full ensemble is simply uncanny. The programming aspect of this project is simply marvelous. While I'm not opposed to the use of drum machines, I still can't help wondering how much more emphatic a statement this release would have made with a human element where the drums are concerned. Regardless, don't get me wrong. I'm for whatever works for an artist, and this works. Also featured is David Mann and Lanny Ward on saxes. David also provides keyboard work, as does Nkossi Konda, Ned Mann and Even Steven Levee on bass. Rich Morrero handles percussion and Rob Rolling joins in on acoustic guitar on track number 10, "Without You.
You gotta figure with all of this cunning and fluidity at his disposal that he's another product of the Berklee College of Music, correct? Well, you figured right. You can sample some of Mr. Savitt's grooves at MP3.com, or visit his website. "Hear and Now" has something special for everyone. Take the time to savor the flavor-here and now. -A. Khalis Pride, President & Editor.
Cafe Jazz Radio (Canada) Jim Savitt - "Second Light" Review (NightCast Records)
New York City native and an alumnus of the Berklee School of Music, Jim Savitt is an accomplished guitarist, composer, & producer who stylistically draws from traditional and contemporary jazz while incorporating touches of groove & world music. Armed with a bachelor's degree from the Stevens Institute of Technology, Savitt operates his own Manhattan-based state of the art production facility in SaviTech Studio. In 2001, he gained international airplay with Hear & Now, his first full-length release recorded in collaboration with David Mann (Special EFX) and subsequently, he performed in such diverse locales as Cairo, Copenhagen, and Kingston. All of this led to Savitt's selection as the Sony Jazz New Artist Search Winner for 2004.
In the time since Hear & Now, Savitt has record-wise been involved in a number of different projects ranging from rock to pop and new age while most recently he's attempted to get back to jazz and the sound of the electric guitar with Second Light. Although several years between releases, it's readily apparent that Savitt is poised to build on the momentum he's already enjoyed with a cd that has the full potential to be one of the top break-thru releases for the year. From that effort, we've selected our fave from the disc, a chill/house-based excursion that leads us to say, "Groove on Jim! Groove On!!
Review by Ted Hasiuk.
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