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JGT Talks To Dave Stryker About His New Album



JGT contributor Joe Barth interviews guitarist Dave Stryker about his new album, “Groove Street”.

Dave Stryker is a proficient player with over forty albums as a leader under his belt.  After two years with organist Brother Jack McDuff, then ten years with saxophonist Stanley Turrentine before branching out on his own.  Along the way, he has performed with Eliane Elias, Andy LaVerne, Kevin Mahogany, and others. He often works with his organ band and is releasing another album with them and special guest Bob Mintzer.

JB:  Your new CD Groove Street is a guitar, sax, organ, drums quartet album.  Three of the songs are originals of yours.  Did you write these songs with the guitar, sax, and organ in mind?

DS:  For my new album Groove Street we added my friend, the great Bob Mintzer on tenor sax. We had a week at Birdland in New York City last July and went into the studio to record the day before we started.  Usually, you would record after a week but Bob had to go to Europe with the Yellowjackets so we did it first and there is a freshness to playing and recording this music for the first time.

I wrote three originals for this date. “Groove Street,” an organ shuffle groove that Mac, our drummer, just kills. “Summit” is an up-tempo modal tune that I knew we could get loose on and burn and “Code Blue” is an F blues with some cool harmonic twists on the melody.

JB:  What unique things does saxophonist Bob Mintzer bring out of you as a guitarist that maybe other musicians may not?

DS:  Bob has so much experience, soul, and fire and his tone. He just reflects his maturity as a player and all the life he has led and the music he has created. It’s always super inspiring to play with Bob, and Jared and Mac rose to this occasion as well.

JB:  Were the two songs that Bob contributed to this album written for this project? If not, how were they selected?

DS:  I asked Bob to bring some music in and those were two that he picked for this particular group. “Overlap” is a really interesting tune with a tricky melody over a syncopated chord structure and “Straight Ahead” is aptly named just being a nice swinger that we close out the album with.

JB:  Organist Jared Gold and drummer McClenty Hunter are, of course, a fantastic team. What do you appreciate most about them as musicians?

DS:  My trio has been together for over fifteen years now and we have developed a real group sound. Jared is one of the best and most original organists on the scene today. He’s just an incredible musician. I had the opportunity to work with many of the “greats of the organ” early on in my career and Jared has the roots but is taking the harmony in his own direction. McClenty Hunter is one of the best drummers on the scene as well. He has fire, and groove and always lifts the music to a new level. I’m lucky to have two of my favorite musicians and people in my trio!

JB:  Any additional Eight Track albums in the future?

DS:  I’ve really loved doing the three Eight Track albums (plus Eight Track Christmas). People really seem to dig hearing tunes they know but done in a different way with my organ trio plus vibes. There is definitely more music from the 60s and 70s I’d like to do.  So we’ll see. In the meantime, I’m getting ready to record a Movie theme project with a studio orchestra and strings in February. 

I taped a PBS special for Wes Montgomery’s 100th birthday with a big band, orchestra, and organ trio. After hearing his incredible writing I told the arranger, Brent Wallarab, that we needed to record a project. I came up with the idea of featuring guitar doing Movie themes and he said “Great! that’s my 2 favorite things Movies and Music!” So, look out for that in 2025. In the meantime, I can’t wait for people to hear this new one Groove Street

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