While Raincheck pianist Ben Markley says much of the band's inspiration is taken from classic 1960s Blue Note recordings, the quartet puts a bit of an updated spin on that era with eight original tunes and a reworking of George Gershwin's "Love Walked In." Tracks like "Boogalues," meanwhile, recall the soul jazz of Lou Donaldson, and the buoyantly swinging "Oh Brother" sounds like a nod to Herbie Hancock's solo material from the '60s. Markley and guitarist Steve Kovalcheck, who's on the jazz-studies faculty at the University of Northern Colorado, are obviously competent in penning tunes and are deft and captivating players, especially on the thoroughly burning "M.O." and "Keys Please." Bassist Marty Kenney and drummer Chris Smith round out the group, which is quite cohesive; although these four haven't been together that long, it feels like they've been playing for years.
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