Phil Palombi – Detroit Lean

Sitting behind the wheel and looking cool is the thought behind the title, Detroit Lean (Xcappa Records, 2016). A product of Ohio, Palombi says the material corresponds to events or feelings that he had when he moved to New York City in 1997.

Personnel are Palombi, Scott LaFaro’s Presscott bass, electric bass; Matthew Fries, piano, Vintage Vibe and Wurlitzer electric pianos; Keith Hall, drums and percussion; Tony Romano, classical, flamenco, steel string and electric guitars; Kat Gang, vocals; and George Walker Petit, percussion and special effects.

“Beyond the Wall” opens the set in dynamic fashion. Palombi’s riveting bass line introduces the song, augmented by a haunting chorus of instruments. The melody is tightly syncopated, with Romano, Fries and Palombi playing complementary lines. After two passes, the leader stretches out, taking the bass to its upper range and diving down to its depths. Romano and Fries get their turns as well, the latter doing his with the electric piano. Palombi says of the title that it represents the success of one who steps outside of his comfort zone. He says it’s built atop the idea that “we put up personal walls around us and can accomplish much if we get past them.”

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