Sometimes you hear guys like Jeff Golub, who used to back rockers like Rod Stewart , referred to as “former rockers.” I’ve seen Jeff play live. There’s no “former” about him. He’s still a rocker! And with his latest release, Grand Central, Golub brings on the feel and flavor of New York City with tracks that cover everything from jazz to blues to rock. This is Jeff’s seventh solo release. Of the eleven tracks, eight were written or co-written by Jeff. He also co-produced eight of the tracks with Steven Miller.
The first track and the first radio single is “Hello Betty,” with Golub’s blend of jazz and rock electric guitar back by a horn section consisting of Rick Braun (who also produced this one), Nick Lane and Dave Woodford.
Jeff put a very bluesy feel throughout this album. “Lulu’s Back” is some silky-smooth blues. And speaking of blues, you don’t want to miss the awesome intro to “If You Want Me To Stay,” the fantastic six-minute blues cover of the Sly Stone hit. “Mojito” is an acoustic track (bass and guitar) featuring Philippe Saisse on piano.
Golub adeptly handles the Beatles hit “Something” while Mitch Foreman gives it a Billy Joel flavored piano accompaniment. All that needs to be said about “Shockwave” is bringing on the funk! And while we’re all in that funky groove, Golub treats us to a taste of the upcoming Guitars and Saxes tour with “Slinky,” featuring the unmistakable Kirk Whalum on tenor sax. There is a wonderful sax/guitar synergy in this one.
It’s time to rock out on “Grand Central,” the title track that really embraces the New York feel and Golub’s rock roots. “Ain’t No Woman (Like The One I Love) is a soulful cover of the Four Tops tune featuring Richard Elliot on sax, backed up by Rick Braun on trumpet and flugelhorn. “The Way I Feel Tonight” is a gentle R&B flavored track. Its acoustic bass has a really great mellow groove. Some of the highlights on this track are Kenny White’s piano solo and Chris Palmaro on the Hammond B3. Outstanding.
Jeff closes it out with some bluesy rock on “Stuffin’ It” - a great way to end terrific CD.
- Elizabeth Ware