(The RAZ Band left to right: Jim, Joey, Joe, Hutch and Raz)
Shoreworld: The Raz Band – The Best Of Raz
—by John Pfeiffer, July 20, 2016
Michael Raz Rescigno has been involved with music most of his life. Starting over 32 years ago, Raz (as he likes to be called) has stayed deep in musical experimentation and performance-
His latest project is a “Greatest Hits” starting in 1984 and going straight through to 2015 when he released his most recent full-
Following the November 2015 release of the critically acclaimed Madison Park by The Raz Band, Gonzo Multimedia has just released The Best Of Raz. This career-
Guest performers include the aforementioned Joey Molland (Badfinger), Joe Vitale (Joe Walsh/Crosby, Stills & Nash/the Eagles), as well as Stu Cook (Credence Clearwater Revival), Carla Olson and Marc Droubay (Survivor).
The disc starts off with “The Boy.” Steeped in the alternative birth sounds of bands such as The Records, “The Boy” is a melodic romp through rock and roll radio land. Featuring Raz on guitar and vocals, the song also showcases the musical stylings of Jeff Hutchinson on drums, tasty riffage supplied by Peter Wiggins on guitar, Jim Serpiello on piano, Kenny Miles on bass and Craig Williams on saxophone. Tight and tasty, “The Boy” is an excellent example of stellar ’80s music. If you like sax-
Up next is “Say Ya Love Me.” Quirky and bouncy, this is another sax-
“Time Marches On” takes the player next. Featuring Joey Molland on backing vocals, the song also features Tommy Amato on drums, James Cleaver on bass, Bob Lorenz on organ and Stan Kabuki on sax. Upbeat and poppy as all get out, “Time Marches On” embraces the period and flourishes well. Stan Kabuki blends well with the organ work of Bob Lorenz. Amato’s drum work is the perfect backbeat to Raz’s vocal attack.
Moving around the disc a bit, I came to an interesting number called “Down At The Gulf.” Filled with raucous guitar work courtesy of Raz, Pat Whisnant and Ruben DeFentes, the song is a veritable symphony of colorful sounds. The keyboard work of Bob Lorenz adds synthesized magic to the guitar cornucopia that makes up most of this rock tune. This is pure and unadulterated album-
Another cool tune is “Tough Love.” Featuring Hutchinson on vocals and drums, Raz on guitar and vocals, Jim Manzo on bass and Joe Vitale on keys, “Tough Love” is a complicated but ingenious compositional creation that sounds like nothing I’ve heard. The arrangement is impressive, and the melodic structure is most interesting. I guess it could be something close to say Missing Persons, but even that comparative is a generality from me. Vitale’s choice of keyboard sounds makes this song a winner in my book.
“Sitting On My Bed” features the vocal performance of Carla Olsen. Carla is joined by Joey Molland on lead guitar as well as Raz, Hutchinson, and Manzo. As much of a ballad as I’ve heard so far, “Sitting On My Bed” is a slow rolling trip through the time-
“Naked On The Floor” is up next. Done in the outlandish style of The Ramones, “Naked On The Floor” is the fast-
Another outstanding tune is “$1.50 For Your Love.” Featuring Molland on guitar and slide, Joe Vitale on piano and vocals, the song also features the beautiful work of Paul Littteral on trumpet and Paulie Cerra on saxophones. Part R&B, part down-
There are many songs that I couldn’t get to due to time restrictions and space, but all in all The Best Of Raz is a fantastic look back to front in the life of a musician that’s managed to keep himself deep in the game and writing great songs along the way. This 19-
If you get a chance to see the band live, I would naturally suggest that you do so as soon as possible, as it’s a winning combination and will be worth your time. To find out about live shows and how to get the latest record, head over to facebook.com/The-