Straight-ahead jazz comes in many forms. The instrumentation he’s chosen for his album keeps Steve Herberman’s debut fine and mellow. His 7-string guitar is played with the fingers. Hence, the music tends to flow with a seamless charm that emphasizes melody and harmony. His band mates solo in like manner, producing a session full of swingin’ ease and loaded with genuine expression. You get the impression these four artists have been together for decades. Mixing standards with originals, Herberman mesmerizes with his allure. He’s described each piece in detail, and provides a few audio samples for the label’s web site
. A personal favorite is Duke Pearson’s “Jeannine.” For this one, saxophone, guitar bass and drums meld into one voice, putting it on cruise control and heading on out of town together. There’s no looking back, as the up-tempo maneuver steers this quartet over well-maintained roads that coax you to just keep on driving. A crisp drum solo on tight skins brings it around. As the quartet heads home, their idyllic vacation spot looms in the distance never forgotten and often brought into our daydreams. “Scooter’s Blues,” “Laura” and “Extended Cruise” provide lovely guitar/bass duo conversations, while the remainder of the program features the quartet. Highly recommended, Steve Herberman’s debut introduces a talented guitarist with great taste, who shares his preference for great straight-ahead jazz while in the company of like-minded artists.
Personnel: Steve Herberman- guitar; Bruce Swaim- tenor saxophone; Victor Dvoskin- double bass; Dominic Smith- drums.