Starportrait review of "Try Something Neu"

Philadelphia based Andrew Neu is as sax player, composer and arranger a constant factor in the local music scene. He performed with Elton John, Patti LaBelle, Mellissa Manchester, Mel Torme, Malcom-Jamal Warner, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Bobby Caldwell, Gerald Veasley among others. He has also recorded with Sister Sledge, Manhattan Transfer and jazz legend Buddy DeFranco.

He started his solo career with the album Inspire (2000), produced by Brian Bromberg, followed by In Clear View (2007) and this yearTry Something Neu. Andrew's third album is co-produced by Brian Bromberg, Chuck Loeb and Gerald Veasley and features guest-musicians Brian Bromberg, Chuck Loeb, Bobby Caldwell, Dan Siegel, Gerald Veasley, Dave Kochanski and more.

Neu is the German word for new and also the name of this gifted sax player. For the starting song Chez Cool Andrew Neu invited famous guitarist Chuck Loeb. A great flowing interplay lets both shine.

Don't get me wrong but the introducing motif of Libra Rising has a certain similiarity to Peter White's Bona Vista Funk. Anyway, energetic on a relaxed route and with Brian Bromberg on board you cannot fail.

Stars of South By Southwest are The Bright And Tight Horns. This horn formation was already a great supporting act on Andrew's In Clear View and consists of a four-piece section featuring brother Peter Neu on trumpet, Chuck Gottesman, Brian Pastor and Tony Bonsera. They also perform with Gerald Veasley and Jeff Lorber.

When romance is required Dan Siegel is the first choice. He is the featured guest musician on Open Mind. Andrew Neu and Dan present elegant performance on a high level. The Way Forward is open for a multi-faceted interpretation depending of a political, religious, philosophical or musical approach. Andrew Neu sets his own landmark by using a solid horn enhancement during his really kickin' sax solo.

The romantic ballade Next Time I Fall (In Love) features celebrated crooner Bobby Caldwell. Bobby Caldwell comments, "When he invited me to participate in "Next Time I Fall" I was not only flattered that he chose one of my tunes but honored that he would ask me to sing it." The similarity of Bobby's voice to Peter Cetera is obvious. Whether you prefer the keyboards accompaniment of Bobby's original version or Andrew's sax interpretation, it's a overwhelming song.

No Hang Tonight is a bouncy straight forward jam session you can observe when you attend Andrew Neu joining Gerald Veasley on Berk's jazz festival. The loanword Wanderlust from German came to English in the beginning of last century as a reflection of what was then seen as a characteristically German predilection for wandering that may be traced back to German romanticism. Neu interprets this word in its positive sense to step forward enjoying nature and life.

Dave Kochanski created the funky song entitled The Nut. The tune sparkles evidently with the tension of electronic bass and natural brass. Try Something Neu continues Andrew's positive performance with a great horn arrangement, excellent sax solo and Demetrious Pappas' outstanding piano play. The instrumental version of Next Time I Fall (In Love) is the closing summit of a fantastic album.

It's easy to applaud to Andrew Neu's album Try Something Neu. Appealing songs combined with professional horn arrangements and Andrew's solid flabbergasting solo performance makes this album a winner.