Marvin Stamm: Delaware River Suite/The Nearness of Two

Ken Dryden By

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Bill Mays, Marvin Stamm & Alicia Horn: Inventions Trio
Delaware River Suite
No Blooze Music

Dena De Rose & Marvin Stamm
The Nearness of Two

Trumpeter/flugelhornist Marvin Stamm is an alum of several orchestras, including those led by Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, plus Thad Jones and Mel Lewis. In recent years he has been focusing on small group dates, including various configurations with pianist Bill Mays and a quartet with drummer Ed Soph.

The Inventions Trio consists of Stamm, Mays and cellist Alisa Horn. Delaware River Suite is their second recording and although Horn is far younger than the others and comes from a classical background, her warm sound is a fine addition to the longtime musical partners who are equally at home playing classical music. Starting off with Jobim's "Zingaro," the trio unfolds its many facets in Mays' superb arrangement, building upon its melancholy air with Horn alternating between arco and pizzicato. Stamm and Mays scored the medley of Miles Davis' "Sippin' at Bells" and Bud Powell's demanding "Dance of the Infidels," producing plenty of fireworks. Mays' magical setting of Villa-Lobos' "Bachianas Brasilieras #5 Movement 1" may get younger jazz fans to investigate the South American composer. The CD's centerpiece is Mays' seven-part title track, introduced with spoken commentary by the composer accompanied by sounds of nature. Each section stands on its own and there are several surprises in store. "Float" sounds at times like a free improvisation or a rough sketch for a film score while "Shohola Campfire & Campfire" is a delightful blend of many musical influences. The leisurely "Toward the Sea" concludes this memorable extended work, which hopefully will be an incentive for symphony orchestras to book The Inventions Trio for jazz pops concerts.

Stamm's duo concert with pianist/vocalist Dena DeRose came about following an opportunity to teach in Italy. Stamm was not familiar with DeRose's recordings (though Mays had frequently praised her work), so he purchased several of her CDs and had a brief discussion prior to their performance while DeRose had never played a duo concert with a trumpeter. Yet there is nothing tentative here, sounding much like two old friends following up on earlier collaborations. "There is No Greater Love" proves to be a delightful interpretation, with inspired exchanges building to a hilarious climax that finds DeRose uttering, "No fair, I can't do that." DeRose is a fine, understated vocalist on several numbers, without the gimmickry all too common on many recordings, though she makes a delayed vocal entrance in their lyrical setting of "Corcovado". Her one original is the lush ballad "In the Glow of the Moon" (written with lyricist Meredith d'Ambrosio), adding Stamm's rich muted solo. Their breezy take of Monk's "Straight, No Chaser" is a treat while DeRose scats in unison with her piano for a portion of Clifford Brown's "Joy Spring," accented by Stamm's warm flugelhorn. John Lennon's "Imagine" pales in comparison due to its shallow lyrics and banal music, though DeRose makes a sincere effort to turn it into a suitable jazz vehicle.

Tracks and Personnel

Delaware River Suite

Tracks: Zingaro; Sippin' At Bells/Dance Of The Infidels; Delaware River Suite: Prologue/Narrowsburg Deep, Rapid Ride at Skinner's Falls, Float, Shohola Hoedown & Campfire, Rollin' Down the Water Gap, Philadelphia, Towards the Sea; Bachianas Brasilieras #5 Mvt. I; Charlotte Delights; Nuages. .

Personnel: Bill Mays: piano; Marvin Stamm: trumpet, flugelhorn; Alicia Horn: cello.

The Nearness of Two

Tracks: (There Is) No Greater Love; Corcovado (Quiet Nights); How Deep is the Ocean; In the Glow of the Moon; I'm Old Fashioned; Imagine; Straight, No Chaser; The Nearness of You; Joy Spring.

Personnel: Dena De Rose: piano, vocals; Marvin Stamm: trumpet, flugelhorn.

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