It is hard to overstate the value of long standing working relationships between musicians. When this musical symbiosis is at its best, the result is a genuine understanding and an interpretation of the music in a comprehensive way. Such is the case between flugelhornist Marvin Stamm and pianist Mike Holober on Live @ Maureen's Jazz Cellar. In order to best exemplify the recognition of a shared craft, they have chosen a series of titles from the jazz standard catalogue along with a couple of originals that, while few in number, prove long in expression.
Opening with the Horace Silver composition "Out Of The Night Came You," pianist Holober begins the number with a lengthy and thoughtful solo effort, followed by Stamm's flugelhorn in a sprightly take on the theme. Then with careful smart pacing, the group shows its cohesion and meaningful interplay throughout the balance of the number.
Mike Holober provides two original compositions, "Dear Virginia" and "Morning Hope." The former is a thoughtful introspective ballad that has moments of simple beauty emanating from the interplay between Stamm and Holober. Bassist Mike McGuirk has a tasty solo filled with smart ideas. The latter number is harder to quantify, but it has a more textured and stylistically broader approach which lends itself to the exploration of ideas between Stamm and Holober. Again bassist McGuirk is prominently featured to show his technical fluency.
The final two tracks are well known numbers from the jazz playbook: "Peace" by Horace Silver and "Funkallero" by Bill Evans. The band's approach to Silver's well known theme is respectful and filled with a harmonically engrossing approach that favors the interaction among the members. Stamm and Holober fill most of the space with clearly articulated notes and phrases. For the Evans number, drummer Dennis Mackrel sets the pace with a strong rhythmic solo showing speed and complexity before the band lays out the theme. Throughout the number, the band shows their dexterity by delivering distinctly expressive lines that make the group shine.
This is a solid session that demonstrates what jazz is meant to be.
Out of the Night Came You; Invitation; Dear Virginia; Morning Hope; All the Things You Are;
Recorded live @ Maureen’s Jazz Cellar
Nyack, New York
December 20, 2019
Recording Engineer: John Guth
Mixing: John Guth, Marvin Stamm, Mike Holober
Mastering: John Guth
Cover Art: Matt Ferranto
Produced by Marvin and Mike
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