Steve Snyder – Prime Vintage (ENG review)

DPU Records - Street date July 24th 2023
Steve Snyder – Prime Vintage

Steve Snyder has accompanied multiple groups for thirty years on various recordings, and this is the first time he is recording on a personal title, with seven original tracks that are extremely classic but will easily appeal to all organ enthusiasts. However, it falls far short of the enjoyment found in Kait Dunton’s album, which I mentioned recently in English here and in French here. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that this album is well-crafted. The only reason you won’t hear it on Bayou Blue radio is that it doesn’t meet our rather strict broadcasting criteria, as you know. As the Austin Chronicle says, this album is excellent, but for us, it’s too classical… He has performed in France, Portugal, Brazil, Sweden, Taiwan, as well as throughout France and Canada. He has accompanied, among others, Randy Brecker, Jerry Bergonzi, Victor Goines, Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., Dick Sisto, Eric Alexander, Mace Hibbard, Brannen Temple, Efraim Owens, Art Gore, Brad Goode, Jeremy Long, Robben Ford, and Chris Maresh.
His work as an organist and pianist is documented on 20 recordings available on various independent releases since 1992. The Austin Chronicle has described his work as “superb.” declares, “an incredible solo… especially from the sensational Steven Snyder, not so surprising.” Gapplegatemusicreview.blogspot writes that his work “goes beyond the style of Jimmie Smith and others, to embrace a post-mid-period Larry Young vibe.” The renowned organ promoter, Pete Fallico, states that Snyder can “skillfully navigate these keyboards and play magnificent solos, whether at slow or fast tempos.”
So, we find ourselves listening to seven tracks that give a déjà vu impression, relying on energy and a flurry of notes that leave little room for attentive listening. It feels more like a live atmosphere with bouncing spectators all around, rather than an album that invites us to sit back and ponder. The mixing lacks a certain lightness, and the basic structure of organ, guitar, and drums doesn’t allow for much subtlety. The album, therefore, relies on a kind of efficiency, leaving one exhausted if not a fan of this retro jazz style.
Jazz albums that showcase this type of organ in jazz are quite rare, making it a unique piece, and that’s why we find it good, but nothing more. However, it’s certainly not an album that will leave a lasting impression, as it is too out of sync with the lush productions of today.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, July 18th 2023


To buy the digital album