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Charles Fambrough at the Michener Museum

Edward Zucker By

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Charles Fambrough
Michener Museum
Doylestown, PA
April 29, 2006


The Michener Museum in Doylestown celebrated the 10th anniversary of its ongoing jazz series with a performance by bassist Charles Fambrough and his quartet on April 29, 2006.

Fambrough, best known for his work with Art Blakey and McCoy Tyner, was joined by saxophonist Joe Ford, guitarist Tom Kozic, and drummer Gary Rissmiller. The first set provided some spirited music and interesting comments by Fambrough.

The band cooked on their version of "It might As Well Be Spring." Kozic played the intro on guitar and was followed by Ford's muscular alto. Whether on alto or soprano, Ford's playing was the highlight of the night.

On the Jimmy Garrison tune, "Sweet Little Maia," Ford switched to soprano, which he played much of the night. On the straight horn Ford displayed a very lyrical and creamy tone. He was followed by some stirring exchanges between Fambrough and Rissmiller, including some impressive polyrhythmic trap work by Rissmiller.

Fambrough then spoke to the audience, lamenting a problem he perceives with "modern jazz"—that musicians play too fast. "The sound is no longer in the pocket and too many notes are being played." He went on to explain that every beat should matter. Further, there is no need for filler, unless a horn is involved.

The band then closed out the set with a gorgeous and very slow rendition of Ellington's "Satin Doll," at the conclusion of which Farmbrough stated: "Playing this way is much harder than playing fast."

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