Vaughn Nark: Somethin' Special
Dizzy Gillespie’s "Fiesta Mojo" includes some brilliant flute work from Tim Eyermann; the doubled melodic lines between flutist and trumpeter find Nark an octave above. Eyermann’s warm lower-register flute solo is followed by fours with the trumpeter; the latter includes a sample of the flutist’s trademark in-your-face tongued attacks. Nark’s theme of contrasting warm & emotional with high & dry extends through to each of the other performers. Tenor saxophonist Saul Miller’s gentle saxophone solo on Gillespie’s "Tanga" is followed by Nark’s mellow flugelhorn response and acoustic bass spotlights colored by congas and light Latin drum work. Tom Williams’ acoustic bass is featured as well on Benny Carter’s "The Courtship," which again pairs the trumpeter with Miller’s easygoing sound. Peter Fraize, whose day job is Director of Jazz Studies at George Washington University, supplies a dramatic fired-up feature on John Coltrane’s "Impressions." Freddie Hubbard’s "Povo" provides an opportunity for piano and electric guitar to recreate some early 1970s-era electronic funk, while "My Funny Valentine" offers a sample of Eyermann’s firm alto saxophone work in partnership with Nark’s trumpet. The leader sings expressive tales on "My Funny Valentine" and "She Was Too Good to Me," revealing a gentle vocal style not unlike that of Chet Baker. His high-power scatting on "Billie’s Bounce" clearly pays tribute to the memory of Dizzy Gillespie, as does the session’s well-balanced approach to the various sides of a trumpeter’s repertoire. Recommended.
Track Listing: Softly as in a Morning Sunrise; Fiesta Mojo; My Funny Valentine; Tanga; Billie
Personnel: Vaughn Nark- trumpet, flugelhorn, valve trombone, baritone horn, percussion, vocal on "My Funny Valentine" and "She Was Too Good to Me"; Tim Eyermann- alto saxophone on "My Funny Valentine," flute on "Fiesta Mojo"; Peter Fraize- tenor saxophone on "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise" and "Impressions"; Fred Hughes- acoustic piano, keyboards; Keith Killgo- drums; Saul Miller- tenor saxophone; Alfredo Mojica- percussion; Rick Whitehead- acoustic guitar, electric guitar; Tom Williams- acoustic bass, electric bass.