Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

230

Mark Sherman Quartet: Live at the Bird's Eye

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
This two-disc live documentation of vibraphonist Mark Sherman's quartet captures a working band at its best. Beautifully recorded before an appreciative audience at the Bird's Eye club in Basel, Switzerland, the quartet delivers a very joyful presentation of their repertoire: Sherman's and pianist Allen Farnham's original compositions coupled with a selection of standards referencing the glorious days of bebop and post-bop, infused with articulate, personal playing and an urgent rhythmic energy. Sherman is accompanied by Farnham who, in this live setting, feels free to push the harmonic envelope of the band. Bassist Dean Johnson propels the rhythmic ideas of his band-mates forward whilst drummer Tim Horner adds a hard-swinging touch to the music.

Sherman's compositions are deceptively simple. The opening pieces, "Tip Top Blues" and "The Winning Life," are based on a basic blues form and then a simple theme respectively, but both add the aggressive post-bop rhythm and fast chord changes which act to ignite some remarkable solos from all players, all the while keeping their signature tight interplay. The subsequent pieces, the slower "Trust" and Farnham's "Hope," see the quartet exploring the melodic options presented by the lyrical themes. "Hardship," the closing piece of the first disc, leads the quartet to an intense performance of a simple blues theme, which is used as a launching pad for some great solos by Sherman and Farnham.

The second disc stresses the formative influences of the quartet. It begins with "Explorations," which is dedicated to the harmonic innovations of John Coltrane and again features tight interplay throughout the complicated chord changes. The cover of "You Don't Know What Love Is" places the standard in a hard-swinging Latin context, while "There Is No Greater Love" is interpreted in a more faithful manner. The quartet concludes the set with the encore "Moon River," another standard arranged by Sherman with emphasis on the rhythmic possibilities of the beautiful original melody.

There are not many surprises here, just a great band that enjoys to play. Sherman can be believed when he says that he is happiest when he is performing live; this innocent happiness shines throughout this live release.


Track Listing: CD 1: Tip Top Blues; The Winning life; Trust; Hope; Hardship. CD 2: Explorations; You Don't Know What love Is; There Is No Greater Love; Tip Top Rhythm; Moon River.

Personnel: Mark Sherman: vibraphone; Allen Farnham: piano; Dean Johnson: bass; Tim Horner: drums.

Title: Live at the Bird's Eye | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Miles High Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read "Exosphere" CD/LP/Track Review Exosphere
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 2, 2017
Read "First Gathering" CD/LP/Track Review First Gathering
by John Sharpe
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by John Sharpe
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "Aram Bajakian's Dolphy Formations" CD/LP/Track Review Aram Bajakian's Dolphy Formations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "Honey And Salt" CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 27, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!