Sgt. Caldwell Stefanuk
Sgt. Caldwell Stefanuk is an Atlanta-based jazz trio comprised of pianist/keyboardist Misha Stefanuk, drummer Steve Sargent, and bassist Jeff Caldwell. I wasn’t sure how I was going to review this CD since there are no song titles or composer credits in the liner notes, but I was able to find the info on the mp3.com website. Song samples are available at that site as well (until the site shuts down!). All of the music was composed by Misha Stefanuk except “Tuning of the Catfish,” which was written by Jeff Caldwell. Stefanuk’s piano work really sparkles on this CD, and he also plays keyboard and organ on a couple of tracks. Most of the nine pieces are full of the electric energy that flows when artists come together who play really well and enjoy playing together. Jazz isn’t my specialty, but I enjoy this CD a lot. My only real criticism of the recording is that there are several places where the piano drops into the background and the bass is featured, but these really aren’t flashy or even interesting solos, and it sounds like a gap in the music. If the bass had been miked or amplified better, this would not have been a problem. It almost sounds like a mike shut off or something, as the piano is really cooking, but you can’t hear it very clearly. Styles range from the Latin-tinged “Girl From the Other Side,” to the slinky “Lovely Romance” and the funky “Sneaky Suspicion.” My favorite track is “Steve’s Blues,” a rhythmic traditional jazz piece that is both upbeat and easy-going. Actually, I like all of the tracks on this one. It is available from mp3.com
. Recommended for fans of piano jazz.