It's unclear why a guitar-featured album with a bunch of solid horn players on hand engenders feelings of nervousnessespecially when they are pros like tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, trumpeter Jim Rotundi and trombonist Steve Davis. From the opening bars of Cole Porter's "From This Moment On," on James Silberstein's Expresslane, horn riffs are heard alongside guitar chords and runs.
It is obvious, though, that Silberstein is quite comfortable in this setting and enjoys sharing the spotlight with his fellow musiciansand quite well. On Jack Wilkins' "Kiwi Bird," Anne Drummond's flute plays the melody in tandem with Silberstein, adding a touch of classical jazz to the motif. Then, for Raye/DePaul's "You Don't Know What Love Is," bassist Harvie S opens with an achingly beautiful arco solo. Whenever he gets to solo, Silberstein is a walking jazz guitar lesson for the styles of Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall and so many others. They are all good and they all swing.
The horns are mostly heard playing in unison, although Rotundi, Alexander and Davis all get to rip through some vital up-tempo solos, with Davis especially strong in these settings. Vocalist Kate McGarry opens a door and provides some Luciana Souza-like vocalese on "Shadows." Silberstein plays some effective originals, then tackles a swinging Rodgers & Hart "My Romance," a bossa version of Carmichael and Mercer's "Skylark" and a solo stint on J.J. Johnson's jazz classic, "Lament."
Track Listing: From This Moment On; Kiwi Bird; You Don
Personnel: James Silberstein: electic guitar; Eric Alexander: tenor saxophone (1, 4, 5, 7, 8); Jim Rotondi: trumpet, flugelhorn (1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8); Steve Davis: trombone (1, 4); Harvie S: bass; Jill McCarron: piano (1-8, 10); Vince Cherico: drums (1-10); Daniel Sadownick: percussions (3, 5, 7, 8, 10); Anne Drummond: flute (2, 5); Kate McGarry: vocals (5).
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.