Jazz Outside the Box
As a sideman with Freddie Hubbard, George Benson and Willie Bobo, pianist and keyboardist David Garfield learned how to inject plenty of excitement into his performance. And, naturally, he accrued a stellar Rolodex over the years, which came in handy when he started his Outside the Box series in 2017; the Chicago native and Los Angeles resident called on all-star friends and colleagues to join him in the studio on a string of singles and albums such as Vox Outside the Box and Jammin’ Outside the Box. For Jazz Outside the Box (Creatchy), Garfield assembled a typically outstanding ensemble comprising a who’s who of contemporary jazz luminaries. Honoring Joe Sample, an important mentor, Garfield interprets one of the late keyboardist’s compositions, “Rainbow Seeker,” from his 1978 album of the same name. The track features guitarist Dean Parks, who played on Sample’s original version, and percussionist Lenny Castro, a longtime member of Sample’s band, as well as the top-shelf rhythm team of bassist Marcus Miller and drummer Steve Jordan. Guitarist Chuck Loeb, who died in 2017, also contributes sparkling leads in one of his final recorded performances. Garfield’s percolating keyboards power the proceedings, as he alternates between electric and acoustic instruments and evinces the positivity at the heart of so much of Sample’s music.