Born in 1955 in Boston but growing up in Hamburg, Richard Schumacher first began to make a name for himself as a session player in the 70s with the likes of Udo Lindenberg and Carsten Bohn’s Bandstand. In the 80’s he studied jazz composition and arrangement at the Berkley School of Music whilst in the 90’s he formed (in Berlin) Vibe Tribe and released the albums “Cool Shoes” and “Foreign Affairs And Views”.

“Right of Way” is released on Schumacher’s own Straight Vibe Records label and comes here from HIGHRESAUDIO. The record does highlight Schumacher’s instinctive and accomplished guitar playing style, but never really pushes it to the fore, instead he is happy to add texture and substance to the tracks on the album.

From the upbeat blues-jazz style of “Oklahoma Willy” to the more contemplative and laid back style of “One Year Ago” and “Wherever You Start” through to a more delta blues feel of “Acoustic Silence”, what you have with “Right Of Way” is a thoughtful and thought provoking album that will please the jazzsters as well as the bluesmen, without being so far into either camp as to be a musical cul-de sac.

There’s an easy listening quality to this record, but that’s not to say it’s in any way boring. It conjures the artist at work in a smoky club with is band, but equally I think it will work well at the summer festivals.

A great summer vibe which blurs genre boundaries and is all the better for it!

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