Longtime VG readers will recognize Steve Zook’s name. He’s been advertising for years. I’ve acquired some nice jazz boxes from him in the past. But unlike many dealers who are primarily buyers and sellers of instruments, Zook is a very serious jazz player. Transporter is a self-produced CD that showcases both his prodigious composing and playing skills.
Subtitled An Audio Movie, this CD is a collection of sound portraits created to evoke different moods. Many of the compositions have a Latin feel, so much so that when I first heard it, I joked with Steve, “You sure have been eating in a lot of Mexican restaurants,” meaning Zook has digested Latin musical idioms so fully that they are now completely internalized. Not all the cuts are Latin; some, like “Wesin’ Around” have more of a straight-ahead jazz feel with fine octave solo work.
Vintage guitar fans will luxuriate in the tone of the instruments of this disc. “Mr. Stromberg” features a glorious-sounding Stromberg Deluxe while “Wesin’ Around” has both a ’68 ES-175 and ’44 Epiphone Triumph. The Triumph can also be seen of the cover. Steve plays everything but bass, which is deftly handled by Ian Keene.
I know that jazz, especially Latin-flavored jazz, is a bit far from my regular beat, but I think that Transporter is worth a serious listen. See www.reflectionrecords.com.
This review originally appeared in VG‘s Dec ’00 issue.