You have to admire Gary Gazaway’s versatility. Over the years, the veteran trumpeter has been employed as a sideman by everyone from Flora Purim to Phish to Joe Cocker. Gazaway, who also goes by El Bu’ho, isn’t a huge name in the music world, but his list of sideman credits is a long one. After spending much of his career playing the music of others, Gazaway gets a chance to share some of his own ideas on The Wham Bam Boodle 2000 — an interesting, if imperfect, fusion/jazz-funk date that is heavily influenced by Miles Davis’ 1980s recordings. Gazaway has a very Davis-minded tone — he obviously believes in the use of space and economy — and funky pieces like “Lickity Split” and “Mississippi Magic” give the impression that he is a big admirer of Tutu, Amandla, and other albums that Davis recorded in the ’80s. Nonetheless, Gazaway is his own man, and some of the writing isn’t all that Davis-influenced. “The Wild Blue Yonder,” for example, is closer to something the pre-Reach for It George Duke would have recorded in the ’70s. Not perfect but generally pleasing and memorable, The Wham Bam Boodle 2000 makes one hope that El Bu’ho will become better known as a solo artist.
~ Alex Henderson, Rovi
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