Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

222

Tangria Jazz Group: Mebane's Eleven

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
"Little melodies come to me when I'm walking." So says drummer/percussionist/composer Sheryl Mebane, the leader of the San Francisco bay area-based Tangria Jazz Group. And that's probably as good a description of the mystery of the creative process as you'll hear.

Mebane's vision, on Mebane's Eleven, focuses in on some of those unfailingly engaging melodies. The band is a piano trio, with a lot of sparkle—pianist Simon Rochester brightens the sound up with a good dose of Fender Rhodes along with the acoustic keys. Justin Hellman adds a solid heartbeat on bass; and Mebane rolls through various percussion modes on drums, jembe and vibes.

Those melodies that come to Mebane have a straighforward, energetic quality, a Bill Evans delicacy and prettiness; and the two covers slipped in with Mebane's seven originals, Miles Davis' "Solar" and Eddie Harris' "Freedom Jazz Dance," featured on Davis' Miles Smiles (Columbia, 1966), gives you an idea of the influences.

The disc opens with "Teach Yourself to Live Elsewhere," a tune with a wistful, Bill Evans feeling, a melancholy sound with an insistent rhythmic drive and some creative comping from pianist Rochester behind Hellman's bass solo. "Money Time" slips deeply inward on an extended piano intro that blossoms in the direction of extroversion when Mebane and Hellman come in.

"Warm" features Mebane on jembe, on a tune with a sultry, dark mood; "Ethan's Song" brings in electric violinist Belinda Catalona, adding a folk music quality to a very modern sound.

The last two tunes on the disc are guest artist revisitations of "Money Time" and "Warm," featuring Jason Bringetto on guitar, violinist Catalona again with her mandolin on "Money Time," along with Giotto Harrison on copper pipes and Alex Pasternak on bass for a closing of the show with more of a world music feeling.

Mebane's Eleven offers up a refreshing take on the piano trio format, with the ending guest spot opening the focus up further.

Track Listing: Teach Yourself to Live Elsewhere; Money Time; Warm; Ethan's Song; Solar; Freedom Jazz Dance; Reactions; Gemini; Breathe Easy; Money Time (with guests); Warm (with guests).

Personnel: Justin Hellman: bass (1-9); Sheryl Mebane: drums, jembe (3, 8, 11), vibes (8), percussion (8, 10, 11). Guest Artists: James Bringetto: guitar (10, 11); Belinda Catalona: electric violin (4, 10, 11); mandolin (10); Giotto Harrison: copper pipes (11); Alex Pasternak: bass (10, 11)

Title: Mebane's Eleven | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Live at Pyatt Hall CD/LP/Track Review Live at Pyatt Hall
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Flying Heart CD/LP/Track Review Flying Heart
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 23, 2018
Read The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Solano Canyon CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "Strange Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Strange Circles
by Daniel Marx
Published: August 8, 2017
Read "Kill Together" CD/LP/Track Review Kill Together
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 12, 2017
Read "Love Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Into a Myth" CD/LP/Track Review Into a Myth
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: July 27, 2017
Read "Backlog" CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017