The Stamm/Soph Project: Live at Birdland NYC (2005)
But this performance reflects a team approach. Ed Soph introduces "Samba du Nancy" with hands on drums in an informal affair that invokes myriad textures. Solemn and devotional, he prepares the quartet for an exotic escape toward festive celebrations. They deliver this one with a quiet fire and a cohesive sparkle.
Guitarist John Abercrombie joins the band for four selections. His pensive lines add a smooth, contemporary charm to the session, while inviting denser harmonies. With a vibrant guitar tone that contrasts sharply with Stamm's feathery touch and airy sound, Abercrombie gives the session a considerable lift. His interpretations contain lyrical passages that drive the ensemble on solid ground.
The high point comes with Rufus Reid's "The Meddler," a driving, hard bop blues that tears your heart out, opens your eyes, and sizzles with hip excitement. Abercrombie soars with gutsy conversational integrity, Bill Mays drives a swingin' affair, Stamm adds a guarded theme over a powerful rhythm section, Reid stretches out with an invigorating stand-up bass interlude, and the band proudly displays its love for the passion that underlies mainstream jazz.
Track Listing: Svensson; Samba du Nancy; In Her Arms; Waltz for Mia; Two as One; When She Smiles Upon Your Face; Gemma's Eyes; The Meddler.
Personnel: Marvin Stamm- trumpet, flugelhorn; Ed Soph- drums; Bill Mays- piano; Rufus Reid- bass; John Abercrombie- guitar.
Record Label: Jazzed Media