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Highly regarded bassist Avery Sharpe has been a first-call session musician due to his long affiliation with pianist McCoy Tyner and others of note. Moreover, he's a viable solo artist, evidenced here on this multicolored 2009 piano trio venture. Sharpe is the traffic director here, though it's a democratic engagement, comprised of covers and original compositions, all enamored by a lithe framework consisting of jazz-induced soul, funk, swing and other genre-fusing stylizations.
The trio often projects a flotation-like soundscape. On "Autumn Moonlight" Sharpe's wordless vocals serve as an additional instrument in harmony with pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs' melodic inventions, all shaded with a Brazilian hue. Even when the band swings hard and navigates through complex unison phrasings, it makes it all sound effortless. Yet it can also lower the temperature, as on the quaint ballad, "Palace Of The Seven Jewels."
Sharpe's rendition of trumpet great Woody Shaw's "Organ Grinder" is a strong vehicle for Gumbs, who re-engineers the primary theme via his fluent improvisational excursions. However, the bassist takes center stage on numerous pieces via his booming, earthen-toned lines, and lyrically charged solo spots. Gumbs' lower register block chords offer a fertile underpinning for drummer Winard Harper's explosive solo on "Intrepid Warrior," where the band generates high-heat and pulls out the proverbial stops.
It's a congenial studio date, as Sharpe pitches an upbeat vibe that casts a divergent outlook without any hint of pretension. Expertly performed, the musicians also transmit a synergistic group-centric aura. It's easy to discern that a good time was had by all during the session and that notion alone conveys one of the many redeeming traits of this indubitably engaging album.
Track Listing: Boston Baked Blues; Fire and Rain; Autumn Moonlight; Take Your Time, But Hurry Up!; Palace of the Seven Jewels; Organ Grinder; Intrepid Warrior; Lost in a Dream; Visible Man; First Time We Met.
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com