Band members Related acts
- Steven Deutsch -- bass
- Marcus Duke - synthesizers
- Ronald Fair -- keyboards
- Bob Sobo -- lead guitar
- David Steinberg -- drums
- Ubambam -- percussion
- Rick Zuniger -- guitar
- Marcus Duke (solo efforts)
- Ronald Fair (solo efforts)
- Nothin Sirius (Marcus Duke)
- Streets (Marcus Duke)
- Rick Zuniger (solo efforts)
Rating: 3 stars ***
Company: Baby Grand
Grade (cover/record): NM / NM
Comments: still in shrink wrap (opened)
Catalog ID: 5863
Here's another largely unknown release on the small L.A.-based Baby Grand label. The liner notes show Zweebop to have been a seven piece jazz outfit consisting of bassist Steven Deutsch, synthesizer player Marcus Duke, keyboardist Ronald Fair, lead guitarist Bob Sobo, drummer David Steinberg, percussion player Ubambam, and second lead guitarist Rick Zuniger.
How they ended up recording for Baby Grand is a mystery to me. Produced by keyboardist Fair, 1977's cleverly-titled "Zweebop" had its moments, but for the most part was simply to jazz-oriented for rock fans. The exception to that statement might be anyone who enjoyed Jeff Beck's mid-1970s jazz-rock fusion outings.
- The instrumental 'Heart Song' took awhile to get started. The first 30 seconds or so started out as aimless new age rambling, but then the song took a turn into aimless horn powered jazz-rock fusion. Interestingly the performance credits didn't show any horns ... Technically these guys were quite proficient (guitarist Zuniger turning in a tour-de-force), but the song itself was pretty boring. rating: ** stars
- Showcasing Duke's synthesizers, 'Coral Shore' was a pretty instrumental, but the song never stepped beyond cocktail jazz status. rating: ** stars
- Opening up with Fair's pounding guitar, 'Low Tide' recalled something Vince Guaraldi might have written for a Peanuts animated special. The highlight here was Steven Deutsch brief bass solo. Something you might want to hear on a Sunday morning, or when you were in one of those weird Bohemian moments, otherwise ... probably not. rating: ** stars
- Sporting a Latin-flavored, percussion rich sound 'Gaviota' found the band trying to get funky (I'm using the term relatively). With Deutsch, Fair, percussionist Ubambam and the others all given solo spots, this one wasn't band in a lite jazzy kind of way. rating: *** stars
- As the most rock-oriented track on the LP, ''Vertigo' was also the standout performance. Powered by some restrained synthesizers from Duke and a couple of tasty Bob Sobo lead guitar solos, this one actually generated a bit of heat. Shame the band didn't pursue this direction on more of the album. rating: **** stars
- 'Lullaby' was as dull as the title. A perfect track to play when your two year old won't go to sleep. If the baby won't cooperate, you certainly will. rating: * star
Executive summary; technically proficient, but modestly entertaining jazz-rock fusion. (The Debbie and Paul Ross cover was kind of cheerful ...)
"Zweebop" track listing:
1.) Heart Song (instrumental) (David Steinberg) - 6:53
2.) Coral Shore (instrumental) (Steven Deutsch) - 4:57
3.) Low Tide (instrumental) (Ronald Fair) - 5:48
2.) Vertigo (instrumental) (Steven Deutsch) - 7:25
3.) Lullaby (instrumental) (David Steinberg) - 5:45
For anyone interested, keyboardists Duke and Fair both had previously released solo efforts on the Baby Grand imprint.
I've never heard copies of Duke's "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" (Baby Grand catalog number SE-1038), or Fair's "Together ... Again" (Baby Grand catalog number SE-1046) so I can't comment, but my expectations would be that both would feature similar jazz-rock fusion sounds. Let me know if I'm wrong.
Duke also reappeared as a member of the early 1980s Washington State based-Streets, followed by stints in The Guitars, Night School, The World Beat Band, and Talismen.
I've never heard any of it, but Zuniger's also recorded as a solo act. There's also a Rick Zuniger who was a member of Stevie Wonder's late-1970s/early-1980s recording and touring band. Not sure if it's the same guy though.
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