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Taste, grace and passion

Sketchin' 2
Sketchin' 2
By Rob Whitlock

SketchinRecords.com: 2006

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This review first appeared in Turbula in July 2006.

Rob Whitlock is a longtime fixture on San Diego's jazz scene. Whether out front, backing other artists on keyboards or in tandem with his vocalist wife, Amber, Whitlock's is a familiar name to area music fans.

A new CD finds Whitlock surrounded by top-rank talent, and turning in a performance reflective of the stellar backing support. With jazz superstar saxophonist Michael Brecker lending his talents to several cuts, and L.A. guitarist Scott Henderson adding some rock-tinged punch to others, "Sketchin' 2" ranges from mellow straight-ahead jazz to almost a hard funk on an edgy cover of Eddie Harris' classic "Cold Duck Time." Wife Amber takes the only vocal on "Them There Eyes," with a lithe, light approach that floats about the band.

Throughout, Rob Whitlock's keyboards complement his guests, occasionally pushing them a touch. Whether on piano or Hammond B-3 organ, Whitlock displays taste, grace and passion in his playing. Rob Whitlock performs Saturday at Dizzy's in San Diego.