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A tribute to Chick Corea, Barbara Montgomery's latest album surrounds her rich voice with a cast of veteran artists. Pianists "Father John" D'Amico and Barry Sames carry out their duties admirably, honoring Corea without copying. Six of his compositions are explored on this session, while several Montgomery & Sames collaborations honor the pianist with echoes of his work. Montgomery's rich contralto voice laments Corea's "Crystal Silence" with characteristic soul. Tenor saxophonist Chris Farr offers a heartfelt interlude. "The Reason Why" features Sames and John Blake with exciting solo work. Montgomery's assertive presentation forges the "Spain"-like composition on solid ground. Not as effective singing the blues, the singer relies on her band to convince. Terrell Stafford and saxophonist Farr supply the missing spirit. Corea's "High Wire" moves at a quick walking bass tempo to showcase Montgomery's acrobatic delivery. Several pieces reflect an appropriate Latin jazz aura, while one track resorts to smooth jazz. The high point of Montgomery's album comes from an exciting arrangement of "500 Miles High." Trumpeters Stafford and Bob Meashey solo majestically and trade fours with the singer. Montgomery interprets Corea's music and scat sings with a charming ease. With a tasteful nod toward the composer's electronic phase, Montgomery brings in electric bassist Chico Huff on "You're Everything" with a sprightly solo to tickle the taste buds. His rapid-fire technique serves to bring the tribute full circle. While the singer encounters pitch problems in several places, her project does provide a firm image of the spirit of Chick Corea's music.
Track Listing: What Game Shall We Play Today; The Reason Why (Porqu
Personnel: Barbara Montgomery- vocals; Chris Farr- tenor saxophone; Bob Meashey, Terrell Stafford- trumpet, flugelhorn; John Blake- violin; Craig Ebner- guitar;