Project Grand Slam – The Rescue
The melodic and musical sophistication of Project Grand Slam helps them standout even in a relatively small field of similarly geared bands. These are musicians with daring and the good sense to use their daring in imaginative ways. The band’s output has been distinguished from its formation by an obvious commitment to crafting entertaining, yet musically rich, material that honors the past and presents an uniquely personal face. While Robert Miller can certainly lay claim to ranking among the world’s best bass players, he clearly works hard and surrounds himself with like-minded musicians concerned, first and foremost, with structuring the material in a compelling fashion and never risking self-indulgence. His supporting cast is every bit as skilled and help him create a fantastic song with “The Rescue”.
The song is one part relentless blues boogie with strains of fusion, R&B, funk, and even a smattering of rock bleeding through. The band sets an impressive pace from the beginning and their sure-footed interplay, with Miller’s bass giving everything a sturdy and melodically superior spine, sounds convinced from the opening and never loses its way. Few, if any, listeners will bemoan the song’s instrumental status and lack of vocals thanks to the assertive and intensely varied approach taken by the brass. The guitar work provides able support, but it flares to life occasionally with vivid fills and a stirring sense of attack that gives the track added energy.
Project Grand Slam understands that song length is an important component in its success. “The Rescue” stays on track from the beginning, focusing on what is essential and foregoing the rest, and this sort of approach is the natural product of outstanding musicians who know what matters. There are no egos here. Instead, Project Grand Slam personifies in a vivid way what the term “band” ideally means – a collaborative artistic venture where skilled artisans are working together to achieve the same end. On “The Rescue”, there’s never a second when the band’s unified approach is doubtful.
Some of the song’s musical highlights arrive by surprise. The inclusion of memorable, but never overwrought, organ peppers the song with a flavorful retro sound. It sharpens the edges of the arrangement as well, doubling the guitars with its meaty musical voice, and further rounding off the sound. Another of the defining qualities setting this song apart is its rambunctiousness and few parts of “The Rescue” better illustrate that than the organ playing. As they pull from various schools of musical thought to shape their sound, Project Grand Slam is likewise unafraid to tamper with their formulas to achieve idiosyncratic ends.
They have opened for national and globally respected headliners and graced the stages of some of the country’s best concert venues. Project Grand Slam has earned plaudits from every quarter thanks to their singular talents and their capacity for reinvention. Everything feels new again in a Project Grand Slam song and their obvious enthusiasm makes their talents all the more memorable.