How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Mark Shane plays piano with a jaunty grace in an outgoing, intelligent style. There aren't many pianists who can both solo and accompany with such sophisticated ease. On Treasure Island features Shane in an excellent traditional band with musicians who play together joyously. Bring together Frank Tate on bass, Joe Ascione on drums, and Mark Shane on piano as a rhythm section, add a group of first-rate horn and reed soloists, and you've got a recipe for some great traditional jazz.
Throughout, cornetist Ed Polcer displays an intricate rapport with pianist Shane. "I Don't Know If I'm Comin' or Goin" is one of the outstanding tracks on this wonderful recording. The Polcer/Shane duet is poignant and a bit sad demonstrating the range of emotion that both musicians have at their command rich resources indeed. Shane's jaunty style returns on the romp of a track entitled "Oh It Looks Like Rain." The whole band tosses in a round of fast paced, sharp solos.
Dan Block's clarinet solo work on "Get Rhythm In Your Feet" is another joyful highlight, demonstrating his technical facility and ability to develop an extended solo. Trombonist Tom Artin shines on "Yacht Club Swing" in one of a series of Shane duets with the horn/reed players. Artin swings from his heels and connects. Track by track, the rhythm section is so casually good that it's easy to overlook them. Tate and Ascione are always supportive and subtle, add in Shane and this is one of the classiest rhythm sections in the genre. From top to bottom this is one heck of a band that has enough upbeat chemistry to get everyone up dancing. Highly recommended.
Track Listing: Liza; Drop Me Of in Harlem; Get Rhythm in Your Feet; Yacht Club Swing; I Don?t Know If I?m Comin? or Goin?; Oh It Looks Like Rain; A Kiss to Build A Dream On; On Treasure Island; One, Two, Button Your Shoe; Tiger Rag; Some of These Days; China Boy; On the Sentimental Side; I?m Coming Virginia; Body and Soul; Shakin? the Blues Away.
Personnel: Mark Shane, piano; Ed Polcer, cornet; Tom Artin, trombone; Dan Block, clarinet and tenor sax; Frank Tate, bass; Joe Ascione, drums; and Terry Blaine, vocals on one track. www.jukeboxjazz.com