Sax player Andrew Neu is a regular member of Bobby Caldwell’s acclaimed touring band and has shared the stage with the likes of Sir Elton John, Patti Labelle, The Four Tops, and The Temptations. He made his solo debut in 2000 with the CD ‘Inspired’ but it was six more years before the follow up ‘In Clear View’ hit the streets. Produced by bassist Brian Bromberg, and with featured performances from Jeff Lorber, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta and Gerald Veasley, it was an album that really left an impression. Now he is back with the cutely titled ‘Try Something Neu’.
‘Try Something Neu’, which is out now on the always excellent nuGroove Records, sees the return of Bromberg and Veasley who this time are joined by no lesser lights than Bobby Caldwell, Chuck Loeb and Brian Culbertson. The respect that these A –listers have for Neu is reflected in the music and this is immediately obvious from the opening notes of the first track ‘Chez Cool’. Here a groove drenched interchange between Loeb on guitar and Neu on tenor sets the tone for much that follows while the first track to go to radio (in both vocal and instrumental only form) is the romantically supercharged ‘The Next Time I Fall (In Love)’. With the vocal version in the capable hands of the legendary Bobby Caldwell it is sure to do well and another stand-out track is the funk-fortified ‘The Nut’. Bromberg both produces and plays bass whilst the sumptuous horn arrangement is afforded a velvety depth by the trombone of Brian Culbertson.
Although Neu hits another home run with the sunshine filled and brass enriched title track, truth to tell the entire collection is of an exceptionally high standard. Not only that, for a player who previously has tantalized with a blend of jazz, R&B, classical and Latin, ‘Try Something Neu’ gives him an identity on which he looks sure to capitalize.