There's often a vibe in live performance that isn't easily captured in the studio, especially when the musicians are highly accomplished jazz veterans performing before an appreciative audience. Trumpeter Marvin Stamm and drummer Ed Soph co-lead this wonderful band, recorded live at Birdland in New York City. Bassist Rufus Reid and pianist Bill Mays complete the quartet, which is augmented on four tunes by guitarist John Abercrombie. Stamm's warm, burnished tone on trumpet and flugelhorn melds wonderfully with the tight rhythm section.
The group chooses a refreshing program of original tunes for this recording. Marvin Stamm composed "Samba du Nancy and the lovely ballad "Two As One. "Samba du Nancy begins with a musical mallet solo by Ed Soph, then lifts off into a high energy, inspired performance that is one of the many highlights of the disc. Bill Mays contributes two beautiful compositions ("In Her Arms," "Gemma's Eyes"), and two Rufus Reid tunes are also featured, including "The Meddler," possibly so named for its offbeat 7/4 time signature in the melody.
An enthusiastic audience, fortunate enough to be present at these dates, provides extra inspiration to this excellent band, which the liner notes tell us is also a group of close friends. This fine release gives us the opportunity (with very good live sound from engineer Jim Anderson) to relive these joyful and creative moments with some of the best players on the jazz scene in one its most famous venues.
Track Listing: Svensson; Samba du Nancy; In Her Arms; Waltz for Mia; Two as One; When She Smiles Upon Your Face; Gemma
Personnel: Marvin Stamm, trumpet, flugelhorn; Ed Soph, drums; Bill Mays, piano; Rufus Reid, bass; John Abercrombie (3, 4, 7, 8), guitar.