All the members of the Connection have some previous connection to the world of jazz fusion: Drummer Danny Gotlieb cut his teeth with the Pat Metheny Group, bassist Dave LaRue and keyboardist T Lavitz played alongside Steve Morse in the Dixie Dregs, and guitarist Glenn Alexander made his imprint as a solo artist. Happily, the four veterans have opted for a true ensemble approach, letting melody be their master and keeping their virtuostic eruptions to a minimum.


The Connection is the new jazz-fusion “supergroup” of guitarist Glenn Alexander, keyboardist T Lavitz, bassist Dave LaRue, and drummer Danny Gottlieb. In their debut Inside Out (Shanachie 5003; 38:14), the music unfolds with a subtle flow and muted punch that at moments borders on the sublime. Not surprisingly, given the members’ past associations with the likes of Pat Metheny and the Dixie Dregs, there are echoes of jazz and rock as well as country. And when the quartet wants to turn up the heat, watch out for such feverish foars as those of Lavitz’ Hammond organ and Alexander’s chorused-up guitar in “Night Long Rain.” Melodically lithe and as well rhythmically strong and harmonically bold, this is fusion with edge and attitude – and long shelf life.