With albums such as ‘Feel The Vibe’, ‘Moving Up Quickly’ and ‘Get It’, the band Threestyle has been doing its bit to disprove the myth that Eastern Europe doesn’t do smooth jazz. In fact this cool collective, the creation of German guitarist Robert Fertl and Czech saxophonist Magdalena Chovancova, have really been turning some heads and look set to continue doing so with their latest CD, ‘Road To Monterey’. In fact the lead single ‘A Little Longer’, became an instant radio favorite and with a stellar line-up of guest musicians that include Paul Brown, Nils, Jeff Carruthers, Robert Vally, Jimmy Haslip, Oliver C. Brown and Nils this looks to be a collection destined for big things.
In this respect look no further than the title cut that is real ‘driving with the top down’ music and then some while elsewhere ‘Like Butta’ is a fine example of the chemistry that effortlessly surges between Fertl on acoustic guitar and Magdalena on sax. Later the number is reprised with the addition of vocals from Latonya Black Gilliard and it is Gilliard who again comes up big with her contribution to a well crafted cover of the Al Green smash ‘Let’s Stay Together’.
When Freestyle notch up the tempo the result is the high octane ‘Back In Da House’ for which Tony Jesek on piano really hits the funky spot and, although ‘What A Day’ proves to be haunting in the extreme, it is guitarist Vincente Pereira who adds a little Brazilian magic to the Bossa Nova inclined ‘Cascais Breeze’.
‘Nice To Be Here’, with drums from Gabriela Chovancova, is a real family affair and another superb ‘west coast’ orientated slice of smooth jazz comes in the form of ‘Days Gone By’. Each, in their own way, confirms that in Threestyle here is a band that has captured the commercial imperative of contemporary jazz circa 2017.