Mark Sherman: L. A. Sessions (2012)

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Mark Sherman: L. A. Sessions
Vibraphonist Mark Sherman has had a longstanding desire to release an album featuring some of his favorite bebop and standard tunes. Now, in L.A. Sessions, this dream comes true, with happy results.

These jazz gems from a half-century ago are played in the tradition, but Sherman and his cohorts lovingly add luster. Chief help comes from Bill Cunliffe
Bill Cunliffe
Bill Cunliffe
b.1956
piano
, on Hammond B-3 organ (rather than his usual piano), and masterful guitarist John Chiodini, a favorite on the Southern California club scene.

Sherman has 30 years of recording, composing, and performing with top players and vocalists. Indicating his prowess, he topped Downbeat Magazine's Critics Poll in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Much influenced by Milt Jackson
Milt Jackson
Milt Jackson
1923 - 1999
vibraphone
, his centerpiece here is an extended version of the great vibraphonist's classic "Bag's Groove." On this, he is laidback and mellow, embracing, midway, solid guitar, organ and drum solos.

Bop's progenitors are well represented. Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
1917 - 1993
trumpet
's 1942 standby, "Woody N' You," is a pleasure, as is Bud Powell
Bud Powell
Bud Powell
1924 - 1966
piano
's "Celia," another game-changing genre piece with its unmistakable and groundbreaking rhythmic repetition and chord tones. The quartet excels on both.

Sherman travels forward in time with Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
' "Serpent's Tooth," featuring Charles Ruggiero's torrential drums, helping to create a swirling vibes-guitar tempest. Along the way, John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
's "Moment's Notice" brings a post bop feel to the proceedings, while Sherman's original, "Far Away," with its haunting atmosphere, brings to mind Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
's "'Round Midnight" from the earlier era.

If asked what bop was like, this CD could be used as an aural illustration. Not as authentic as listening to a pioneer like Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
, perhaps, but these enthusiastic recreations do prevail.

Track Listing: Woody N' You; Quasimodo; It Could Happen To You; Celia; Far Away; Whisper Not; Moment's Notice; Bag's Groove; Serpent's Tooth; Bonus Tracks: Quasimodo; Woody N' You; Celia.

Personnel: Mark Sherman: vibes; Bill Cunliffe: Hammond B3 organ; John Chiodini: guitar; Charles Ruggiero: drums.

Record Label: Miles High Records

Style: Modern Jazz


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