276

Bob Mamet: Impromptu

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Bob Mamet: Impromptu The title of Impromptu is somewhat misleading. All three musicians in this trio have lightning-quick reflexes and great improvisational skills that certainly help to make instant magic, but the songs themselves aren't off-the-cuff creations as the title might imply. Pianist Bob Mamet has crafted ten catchy charts in a variety of styles and leaves plenty of solo space to spare.

The first two tracks—"Impromptu" and "Cats On The Roof"—are comfortable swing vehicles that introduce Mamet's playing without getting too personal. His deft touch and graceful right hand lines move over the rhythm section with a sense of ease. A brief cascading stream of notes on the title track hints at things to come. Drummer Joe La Barbera's brushes actively sweep and keep the beat dancing on "Venice Waltz," while the trio really hits its mark with "At Play." This up-tempo burner is driven by an insistent figure from bassist Darek Oles that's doubled by Mamet's left hand. While everybody shines on this one, La Barbera's soloing is the real focal point.

"Until Morning" shows off Mamet's beautiful ballad writing, and comes off like a less gloomy, distant relative of the classic "In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning." The bass and left hand doubling are used to good effect as Oles and Mamet lay down a riff on "Danzon Allegretto." An occasional cavernous left hand note comes from Mamet as the song continues, and he throws out some energetic and zestful runs. "Bob's Blues" starts out like standard supper club jazz fare, but quickly becomes a tour-de-force display of musicianship from all three participants. Solo trading, first between Mamet and Oles, and later with Mamet and LaBarbera, is the order of the day on this one, and Mamet's tasty technique is on full display.

The deeply soulful "Illinois Road" is a standout—more for mood and sheer melodic pleasure than for musicianship—and all three men keep their chops in check as they work in service of the song. "Keziah" begins with a classical-meets-tango vibe, but takes on a samba-ish feel when the music takes off. La Barbera's bouncy soloing is a treat here and Mamet is on fire again. A reprise of the title track, while slightly unnecessary, brings the album full circle. In summary, Impromptu = Impressive.

Track Listing: Impromptu; Cats On The Roof; Venice Waltz; At Play; Until Morning; Danzon Allegretto; Bob's Blues; Illinois Road; Keziah; Impromptu (Reprise).

Personnel: Bob Mamet: piano; Darek Oles: bass; Joe La Barbera: drums.

Title: Impromptu | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Counterpoint Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Festen" CD/LP/Track Review Festen
by John Sharpe
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "Jambú" CD/LP/Track Review Jambú
by Joe Gatto
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "The Broader Picture" CD/LP/Track Review The Broader Picture
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "The Book of Transfigurations" CD/LP/Track Review The Book of Transfigurations
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Potsdamer Platz" CD/LP/Track Review Potsdamer Platz
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Alma Matters" CD/LP/Track Review Alma Matters
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 10, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.