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Published: 2004/01/27
by Jason Ware

Star Hustler – Will Sellenraad and Root Down

Tin Top Records

Today, it is very hard to keep up with emerging artists. It is easy for a
music fan to miss some of the hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Will
Sellenraad and Root Down are one of these hidden treasures that it is easy
to miss. Hailing from the New York jazz scene, the group is composed of
Will Sellenraad on guitar, Brian Charette on the Hammond C3 organ, and
Darren Beckett on the drums.

To me, much of contemporary jazz reminds me of something I would hear
sitting in the dentist’s office or while on hold. Star Hustler has
encouraged me to take another look at contemporary jazz music. This disc
provides the listener with many excellent compositions with only a few
disappointing moments.

In my mind, one of the top requirements for a good disc is that each member
of the band needs to shine through. Star Hustler does a great job at
this. The drums really provide the backbone of the tracks and the talent of
Beckett shine through on all the tracks. Most notable of Beckett’s talent
is the track "Play it Back," which showcases the drums. Sellenraad on guitar
and Charette on the organ really compliment each other. Both switch leads
and improvisation. This blends very well together. Most notable of this is
the track "Major Mishap," which enables the listener to envision any mishap
that comes out laughable in the end.

While the great qualities of this CD make it worth having in your
collection, a few disappointments were found. First off, this is not a disc
that you could listen to everyday. In time, it would make every track
indistinguishable from the rest. The other disappointment is the fact that,
at times, the organ can be overbearing, taking away from the blending of the
other three instruments. The track "Frightened People" is an example. The
only other problem that I had with this track was that it had vocals. These
vocals take away from the sound being achieved when the organ is not

Star Hustler is very solid. It is worth having in your collection.
It displays great talent and sound with only a few disappointments. It is
especially great for mellowing out at home or in the car while returning
from a show.

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