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Vibraphonist Mark Sherman lights fires with this straight-ahead session. His sterling sextet of all-star jazz veterans lends a cohesive hand to interpret his set of original compositions and standards with authority.
Emulating the vocal qualities of his instrument, Sherman spins slow ballads and up-tempo romps with facility. The round edges of his vibraphone tones emit a fluid glow. "Moon River" oozes with sentiment as the ensemble communicates its message convincingly. Allen Farnham's "Hope" rings true with the same kind of heartfelt openness. Sherman's "My Princess" steps into a dream world where day flows into night without pause, and the standard "My One and Only Love" settles in comfortably under the vibraphonist's guidance. Seamless phrases roll off his felt-covered mallets with cotton-mouthed expression.
In an upbeat mood, the ensemble interprets Farnham's "Genkitively" with thoughts of a Caribbean vacation in mind. Rollicking with a celebratory spirit, Sherman and his crew party hearty. His "Ella Bella" sashays lightly with a smooth samba spirit; Joe Magnarelli weaves a lyrical web alongside. The session closes with Sherman's "Long Trip Home," which offers a bright outlook with promises of keeping the straight-ahead flame alive and well for future generations.
Track Listing: Modal Blues; Little Lullaby; Moon River; Spiritual Exercise; Hope; Genkitively; My Princess; My One and Only Love; Ella Bella; Long Trip Home.
Personnel: Mark Sherman: vibraphone, marimba; Joe Lovano: tenor saxophone; Joe Magnarelli: trumpet, flugelhorn; Allen Farnham: piano; Dean Johnson: bass; Tim Horner: drums.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.