237

Mark Kramer: Jazz Greetings

Victor L. Schermer By

Sign in to view read count
Mark Kramer: Jazz Greetings It's easy to be jaded by the endless production of Christmas and New Year holiday recordings by jazz artists attempting to cash in on the shopping impulses of this time of year. It's also unfortunate that much of what is produced is simply spruced-up, dispensable noise.



Pianist Mark Kramer's "Jazz Greetings" is a rare exception. While Kramer does have a predilection towards popular themes, he is a fine jazz musician, and this album is a tasteful collection of traditional holiday songs where the emphasis is on jazz improvisation rather than holiday hype. Together with bassist Charles Fambrough and drummer Jim Miller, along with special guest artists featured on a few tracks, Kramer artfully renders the tunes in a laidback, sensitive manner. Moreover, the recording quality is excellent.



The "déjà vu" aspect of this CD is that it is uncannily reminiscent of early, classic Bill Evans Village Vanguard trio recordings with Scott LaFaro or Eddie Gomez on bass and mostly Paul Motian on drums. Kramer is a devotee of the late, great Evans, and often works with Gomez. Fambrough and Miller, like Kramer, have Philadelphia roots and connections, and together they artfully recreate the impressionistic style of the Evans trios, with subtlety winning out over flashiness, and the kind of voicings, turns of phrases, and sonorities that made the Evans trios so absorbing and innovative.



This CD offers ideal listening for the peaceful interludes of the holiday season; an excellent choice for those who enjoy laidback and lyrical jazz music.


Track Listing: Greensleeves, Santa Claus is Coming to Town; Silent Night; I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas; We Three Kings; Deck the Halls; Walking in a Winter Wonderland; Christmas Time is Here; Hanukah Blessing- Hatikvah Medley; March of the Toys.

Personnel: Mark Kramer: piano; Charles Fambrough: bass; Jim Miller: drums; Omar Hill: percussion; Leslie Burns: flute.

Title: Jazz Greetings | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Dreambox Media


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Harlem CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Sanctuary" CD/LP/Track Review Sanctuary
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 16, 2016
Read "Genesis" CD/LP/Track Review Genesis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "Isang" CD/LP/Track Review Isang
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Planets + Persona" CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "Il sistema periodico" CD/LP/Track Review Il sistema periodico
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "WAHOO!" CD/LP/Track Review WAHOO!
by Greg Simmons
Published: February 13, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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