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Album Review

On Ice, the second CD by the San Francisco Bay Area Penguin Jazz Quartet, was released in 1999. The CD features several original tunes, most of them written by guitarist Pat Smith, as well as interpretations of such standards as Wayne Shorter's "Footprints," Bill Evans' "Time Remembered," and Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man." The songs on the album that fall into funk grooves, like "Watermelon Man," suit the musical sensibilities of this quartet. More traditional jazz tunes such as "Footprints" don't come across with nearly as much confidence. The production quality on the studio recording is good though the relative presence of the guitar (especially during solos) tends to be a little too loud on many of the songs.


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

The San Francisco Bay Area-based Penguin Jazz Quartet began as a trio in 1994. The trio, which consisted of guitarist Pat Smith, drummer Russ St. John, and bassist Sumit Das, were soon joined by pianist Bill Walker. According to the quartet, they garner inspiration from the works of such jazz stalwarts as the Gene Harris Quartet and the Bill Evans Trio. The Penguin Jazz Quartet recorded a self-titled CD in 1996 that included both jazz standards (e.g., My Funny Valentine and God Bless the Child) along...
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On Ice, The Penguin Jazz Quartet
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