Modern Man, not to be confused with the folk/comedy group of the same name, is a mainstream bop sextet. The only player I'm familiar with is trumpeter Greg Gisbert. According to Bobby Shew's liner notes, the group has recently added trombonist Mark Patterson to the front line of trumpet and sax. The eight tracks consist of original compositions from five of the group members. The album was recorded in Denver, presumably close to the offices of Colorado-based Capri Records, who have been pumped out quality product for some years now. Modern Man comes complete with raves from the aforementioned Bobby Shew and jazz writer Ira Gitler.
The album opens with a familiar sounding Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers-type riff on "Sand Crab," and for the most part all seven tunes range from pleasant to impressive. My favorite moments occur on "Tynerisms," on which John Gunther launches into a Coltranesque soprano sax solo circa 1960, followed by a pungent Mark Patterson trombone statement. The following tune, "Harmony Peace," is also attractive and nicely rendered. Gisbert gets in some strong trumpet statements throughout the session and the rhythm section delivers nicely. Gunnison contributes two tunes, of which "Five Years Ago" is a standout.
The album ends, unexplicably, with a one minute outtake of "Modern Man" which consists of the group breaking up in laughter. I guess it shows that these guys can laugh at themselves!
Track Listing: Sand Crab, Shelf Life, Tynerisms, Harmony Peace, Modern Man, That's All, Five Years Ago, Essence of Modern Man.
Personnel: Greg Gisbert, trumpet; John Gunther, saxes,flute; Mark Patterson, trombone; Erik Gunnison,piano; Mark Simon, bass; Paul Romaine,drums.
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.