"...the octet ... is sharp and well-grounded on every number, ...every solo is strong and engaging. The rhythm section, anchored by drummer Joe Syrian, does its part to enliven the party... Syrian is especially impressive thumping the tom toms on a Latin-flavored version of "All or Nothing At All"."

"Letting the good vibes flow....this bunch is hanging out and having a good time .... Solid stuff throughout."

"Real fun,...""...with an emphasis on mellow hipness." "Here's a band that takes you back to the soul-jazz days..."

Joe Syrian's Motor City Jazz Octet gathers the some of the best jazz musicians in the Detroit metropolitan area. Their new album Sanctuary ... is of high quality .... The octet varies in its lineup and on this recording the players are Steve Wood (tenor sax, flute), Jimmy Smith (trumpet), Mike Rumbell (trombone), Mark Berger (baritone and alto sax), Gary Schunk (keyboards), Steve Carryer (guitar), Don Lewandowski (bass), Andrew Lloyd (bass) and Joe Syrian (drums).

The music presented on Sanctuary is melodic classic jazz that is superbly played with nice solos from all involved. The lyrical guitar solo in "When I Fall in Love" and the piano solo in the Gershwin standard "Embraceable You" immediately come to mind. Other highlights include the Latin tinged drumming in "All Or Nothing At All" and the smooth electric piano and percussion in a completely jazzified version of "Come Together". Trumpet, sax and trombone dominate the Stevie Wonder classic "Sir Duke" offering a fresh and unique take but is still instantly recognizable with its unmistakable melody and horn arrangement.

... the melodies and solos are top notch with nary a wasted note. Recommended.

Motor City Jazz Octet: Sanctuary

Here's a band that takes you back to the soul-jazz days of CTI, as six covers are presented here with an emphasis on mellow hipness. 

....clever read of "Come Together" with some African feel....

Real fun, and the enjoyable straight-ahead juices flow well.

Radio Station WAER - Syracuse

....just wanted to say how much WAER enjoyed playing the Motor City Jazz Octet this past fall especially on my EC in The Evening program. I can tell just from the music that the band is definitely a great bunch of guys who have tremendous cohesion both on and off the bandstand.

Detroit is very fortunate to have a band of your caliber right in their own backyard.

...a solid unit with a tight brass section. They perform fresh arrangements of pop and jazz classics taking advantage of the depth of their band. Rick Margitza (sax) makes a guest appearance on the "Embraceable You" as done George Benson (g) on "Darn That Dream". We also enjoyed "Come Together" and "Sir Duke" in a unique and engaging set.

Excellent Players; familiar with them from previous releases. Good stuff!

...Great band.

Thank you for the great music!

Eleanor Rigby

Mas Que Nada

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Motor City Jazz Octet

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