Bob Mamet: Impromptu (2010)
Chicago-born Mamet studied at Peabody Conservatory before moving to Los Angeles, where he has worked a composer and session musician, showing his versatility in television, film, advertising and performance. Associations include Alex Acuna, Larry Carlton, Eric Marienthal, Gerald Albright and David Benoit. For Impromptu, Mamet is accompanied by Darek Oles on bass and Joe LaBarbera on drums.
The title song has a Benoit/Guaraldi feel to it. Mamet carries the lead in playful fashion. During the song's climax, he scores a series of descending rolls.
"Venice Waltz" is a charming piece. La Barbera adds some extra flavoring with cymbal slides and soft strokes on the snare. Oles steps out front briefly during a bridge that sets up the closing.
Oles and La Barbera are more involved on "At Play," an upbeat, free-spirited song. Bass and piano are in unison during the introduction. The bass continues the stair-step rhythm while the piano moves on to the melody. La Barbera gets to lick his chops in a call-and-response with Oles. The trio is sharp throughout.
Any time you get a collection of all-original compositions performed by a solid group of jazz musicians, you're likely in for a treat. Impromptu delivers on that promise in a stylish, albeit brief (under 40 minutes total), set. Although Oles and La Barbera don't get to stretch out much, they complement Mamet perfectly. Even in the background, they present integral parts of the performance.
Track Listing: Impromptu; Cats on the Roof; Venice Waltz; At Play; Until Morning; Danzon Allegretto; Bob's Blues; Illinois Road; Keziah; Impromptu (Reprise).
Personnel: Bob Mamet: piano; Darek Oles; bass; Joe La Barbera: drums.
Record Label: Counterpoint Records