Try Something Neu

Try Something Neu

by Andrew Neu
5.0 1


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Try Something Neu

Clearly, the popular and versatile veteran Philly-based saxman was just having fun with his name when titling his third independently released CD, because we have heard every possible stylistic angle that a contemporary/smooth jazz-oriented saxman could take, right? The good news is, Andrew Neu actually does a few "neu" things that transcend what listeners usually hear on smooth jazz stations, mostly thanks to the stirring energy he creates with his three- or four-piece brass section called the Bright and Tight Horns (featuring the saxman himself and his brother, trumpeter and flügelhornist Peter Neu). As on Neu's previous releases, a lot of promotional attention was focused on the big genre stars that guested on this infectious collection, including Fourplay guitarist Chuck Loeb (the bright, bluesy funk opener "Chez Cool"), bassist Brian Bromberg (who adds bubbly coolness to the in-the-pocket, soprano-driven soul gem "Libra Rising"), keyboardist Dan Siegel (adding elegance to the lush alto tune "Open Mind"), and Bobby Caldwell, who turns in a picture-perfect vocal on "Next Time I Fall (In Love)," the song he co-penned for Peter Cetera and Amy Grant in the '80s. But all those fall short by comparison to the blazing heat Neu kicks up with a largely no-name cast (with the exception of producer/bassist Gerald Veasley) on the single track that takes the disc from "good" to "beyond great": the explosive, shuffling horn jam "No Hang Tonight." The powerful, hummable brass hook sells it, but it's the soloing that sticks -- the wild key runs by Demetrios Pappas, the crackling trumpet of Chuck Gottesman, and the bubbling over by Neu himself. Harry "Butch" Reed's drums anchor the tune brilliantly and inventively. Everything else on the set is delightful, catchy, and well-played, but a little more of this kind of fire would have made this a potential classic. Of course, radio never plays "this kind of fire," so maybe to be really Neu next time, the saxman will just have to pretend airplay doesn't matter.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/18/2009
Label: Nu Groove Records
UPC: 0893422002369
catalogNumber: 2036
Rank: 178911

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Andrew Neu   Primary Artist,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Brian Bromberg   Bass,Piccolo Bass,Upright Bass
Bobby Caldwell   Vocals
Gerald Veasley   Bass
Brian Culbertson   Trombone
Chuck Loeb   Guitar,Keyboards,Soloist
Demetrios Pappas   Organ,Piano,Soloist
Donald Robinson   Keyboards
Dan Siegel   Piano,Keyboards
Joel Taylor   Drums
Dave Weckl   Drums
Dave Kochanski   Keyboards
Rob Cochran   Bass,Soloist
Brian Pastor   Trombone
Gannin Arnold   Rhythm Guitar
Mark Walsh   Rhythm Guitar
Brian Dunne   Drums
Harry "Butch" Reed   Drums
Chuck Gottesman   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Wendell "Pops" Sewell   Rhythm Guitar
Peter Neu   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Anthony Bonsera   Trumpet
Anthony Bonsera   Trumpet
Dave Cianci   Trombone,Bass Trombone

Technical Credits

Brian Bromberg   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer
Bobby Caldwell   Composer
Gerald Veasley   Arranger,Producer
David Chackler   Executive Producer
Paul Gordon   Composer
Chuck Loeb   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Horn Arrangements,drum programming
Tom McCauley   Engineer
Donald Robinson   Engineer
Tom Zink   String Arrangements
Dave Kochanski   Composer
Richard Waller   drum programming
Andrew Neu   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Lucien Dowdell   Engineer

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Try Something Neu 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Dfairch More than 1 year ago
Try Something Neu is Andrew Neu's third album and is definitely something Neu. From the first to the last track, it's going to have you groovin' in your chair if not up on your feet dancing to the rhythms. The thing that sets this cd apart from his last outing, "In Clear View", is the horn arrangements. The horn work has the old school feel of the Tower of Power horns and yet can deliver an orchestrational backup when needed or produce a jazz big band feel. One thing for matter what mode they're in, they never lose the groove. This project comes with guest appearances from some of the finest names in smooth jazz today. Kicking off the cd is Chuck Loeb, on guitar, sharing the spotlight with Andrew on a tune called Chez Cool. This track sets the mood perfectly. There are some fine exchanges between Loeb and Neu and some great supporting work from Demetrios Pappas on the organ. Next up is Libra Rising, a track written by Brian Bromberg, in which Bromberg handles the bottom end duties with solid bass work. This is more of an up tempo melodic smooth jazz track, with Neu delivering the melody and the horns, along with Bromberg, providing groove and support. South By Southwest is all Andrew Neu. It has catchy timing and a very cool break at midpoint where Neu displays some fine solo work. Then it's back to the melody and out the back end. From here we go to a nice laid back track with Dan Siegel on the keys titled Open Mind. Andrew sets down the melody and shares an exchange or two with Siegel. This next track, The Way Forward, is written by Chuck Loeb and is solely Neu and the horns. Andrew steps outside on this one and displays a very nice improvisational solo, while the horns provide support and maintain the gentle smooth jazz flow of this tune. This cover of the 1987 Bobby Caldwell song "Next Time I Fall In Love" is performed by Bobby Caldwell and sounds very much like the original. Andrew's sax work is a very nice addition to the arrangement. There is also an instrumental version on the cd. No Hang Tonight is one of my favorite tracks. It takes off with a Billy Preston style gospel flavor and goes into a large horn section jazz feel. It still keeps the groove with some fine keyboard work, a very cool trumpet solo, and Andrew's sax to tie everything together. Wanderlust is a song written by Neu and is another melodic smooth jazz track with a very nice flow. Back to the funk with The Nut. Here come the horns with some fine old school sounds. They do relinquish the reins to Andrew for some funky sax work, but they push this track from start to finish. What a groove!! Now for the grand finale, Try Something Neu. In my opinion, this should be the headliner for the album. It is the culmination of everything before it, in that it has a catchy flow, fine solo work, a great horn arrangement and it imparts a feeling of satisfaction that you'd only feel after having partaken of something very good. However, it could very well be the start of something very good. To sum up.....this is by far one of the best contemporary cds out at the present; however it is a very hard album to review in that it can't be placed in any cookie cutter mold. The dimension to the music in this project is incredible. I guarantee this cd will inspire you to Try Something Neu.