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Flip through your collection of quartet recordings and odds are that a saxophone—alto or tenor—in front of a rhythm section comprises the bulk of the sets. Trumpet out front might be next, followed by a variety of different instruments like guitar or vibes; and then you might (though I didn't) come across a lone trombone blowing in front of piano, bass, and drums.
Trombonist Frank Darmiento's Sudden Impact is that rare quartet offering. The disc mixes the leader's vibrant and solidly mainstream tunes—Darmiento won the 2003 Dallas Wind Symphony brass fanfare competition for composition—with a handful of well-chosen standards.
The set opens with "Lost in Aisle Seven," showcasing Darmiento's boldy forthright approach combined with the sparkling backing of his rhythm section. Pianist Joel Robin, bassist Steve Millhouse, and drummer Rob Wainwright have a sound that keeps bringing the Ralph Sharon Trio—Tony Bennett's rhythm section of choice— to mind. Clean, exquisite, tasteful, often understated, with the ability to turn up the heat when needed. They swing easy and punctuate the leader's flowing tones.
The title tune takes the mood up-tempo, with the electric piano—featured on four cuts—acting as a glistening counterpoint to the darker hues of the trombone.
Henry Mancini's "Days of Wine and Roses," "Bye Bye Blackbird" (a melody that sounds here as if it were written with the trombone in mind), "How About You," "I Thought About You," and "My Old Flame" comprise the standard offerings, done straight-ahead; and Darmiento's "Lightning Always Strikes Twice" features the alto trombone's sharper tone, along with a touch of Latin piano. The tune is worth a several repeat button treatments on several counts, not the least of which is Robin Wainwright's unusual and entrancing high end percussion and kicking cymbal work.
Track Listing: Lost in Aisle Seven, The Days of Wine and Roses, Sudden Impact, My Old Flame, I Thought About You, Double Trouble, Bey Bye Blackbird, How About You?, Crusin', Lightning Always Strikes Twice, Rendevous on the Moon
Personnel: Frank Darmiento--tenor and alto trombone; Joel Robin--accoustic and electric piano; Steve Millhouse--accoustic and electric bass; Rob Wainwright--drums and cymbals