Near the end of the title track of the new album by the Steve Gadd Band, Gadd takes a knock-your-socks-off drum solo that brings the house down. The album, subtitled "Live from Rochester, NY," was recorded at the 2015 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, and it's far more than just a CD. "Way Back Home" also includes two DVDs, a beautifully shot video of the concert, and interviews with many of the people Gadd has worked with over five decades. It even boasts a cubist-style cover by Rochester illustrator David Cowles.
The music is superb, by turns swinging and funky, ranging from Keith Jarrett's "The Windup" and "Bye Bye Blackbird" to "Them Changes," the Buddy Miles tune that provides another opportunity to show why Gadd is widely regarded as the world's best drummer. Interviews range from greats like Chuck Mangione and Tony Levin reminiscing about Gadd's days at the Eastman School of Music and beyond to local impresario Jeff Springut discussing the great bands Gadd played with at the legendary club Red Creek. It's not often you find a world-class album centered in Rochester; "Way Back Home" fits the bill.