- Song 21
- Chili’s Blues
- Can’t Wait
- The Arrival
- I Hear a Rhapsody
Night Manager by Strat Andriotis released August 28, 2018. It is the third genre-bending series of albums by Strat Andriotis following the 2015 and 2017 release of Liars Incorporated and Less Off Patient.
Setting this album apart is guest artist Jerry Goodman who plays on 7 of the eight tracks.
Jerry Goodman is the legendary jazz-rock violinist and co-founder of both “The Flock” and “The Mahavishnu Orchestra.
Other A-listers contributing to Night Manager are the world-renowned and four-time Grammy winning pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba (playing on Song 21) and Adrean Farrugia (Secrets and Chili’s Blues).
Dizzy Gillespie said, “Gonzalo is the best pianist I’ve heard in 10 years.”
Strat Andriotis produced the album and composed seven of the eight songs with one co-write by Jerry Goodman.
Andriotis’ virtuosic guitar skills contribute to all tracks of this solid mix of contemporary, acoustic instrumental jazz with Gypsy-jazz style melodies.
Strat recorded his parts at 51 Sounds in Hamilton Ontario as did Adrean Farrugia.
Sean Magee mastered Night Manager at Abbey Road studios in London, England.
Song 21 immediately throws you into the sounds you can only hope to explore for the rest of the album. The opening sounds of Strat’s guitar intro and the stunning arrival of Goodman’s rich violin voice leads us towards fantastic percussive bursts from Gonzalo Rubalcaba’s piano on his sole contribution to the album.
Secrets beautifully reveals a melody that starts from a deceptively traditional place but through the achingly beautiful voice of Goodman’s violin becomes remarkable. Strat Andriotis’ virtuosic work on the fretboard provides exploration around and through the melody while Adrean Farrugia’s exquisite accompaniment allows this piece to soar.
The short Aminor7th chord from Adrean Farrugia’s piano languishes but briefly before Chili’s Blues slides into a full voiced composition. Goodman’s violin shocks with an incisive opening voice. The song is too short, but checking the actual length was surprising. This is a testament to Strat Andriotis’ compositional skills. All three artists give exquisite treatment to this piece.
Can’t Wait represents perhaps the most traditional sound of the album. The guitar and the violin sound beautiful together. This song is enthralling right from the beautifully played intro by Andriotis to the extraordinary violin cadenza by Jerry Goodman.
Avid subtly surprises with a call and response motif which seemingly starts from a more traditional sound and responds with a modern contemporary voice. This makes for an intriguing composition.
The best word to describe the sixth track is already in the title. Feverpitch takes us out but somehow maintains a melodic frenzy. Jerry Goodman really impresses as does Andriotis’ accompaniment and solos.
The Arrival earns Andriotis the esteemed position of having Jerry Goodman as co-writer. Andriotis is at his best here and the fullness of voice from Goodman’s violin continues to amaze through this enchanting composition.
I Hear a Rhapsody, is a 1941 classic by Fragos, Baker and Gasparre. Andriotis plays solo on this famous song. He leads off with the unadorned and famous melody, edging into a great modern sounding improvisation rendered by an almost instinctual gypsy jazz flavour. It is a beautiful finish to a great album.
Strat Andriotis’ guitar and Jerry Goodman’s violin are pure magic together. This is a compelling contemporary album interweaving the timeless gypsy-jazz style with modern voicings.
Night Manager is an ears-wide-open pleasure to listen to. Find out more at stratmusic.net.