259

Vaughn Nark: Panorama

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Vaughn Nark: Panorama When one is informed that a certain musician’s perspective “defies classification,” that his “orientation is holistic,” and that he advocates “diversity and balance,” producing “a mosaic of textural contrasts” that expresses “a broad overview of human emotion,“ it’s best to hunker down and prepare to withstand an everything-but-the-kitchen sink onslaught. In Vaughn Nark’s case that’s not really a bad idea, as the “v” in Vaughn could as well stand for “versatile.” Nark is rather like an American version of the “Wizard of Oz,” Australia’s virtuosic James Morrison, which is to say he’s a musical phenomenon who shines on trumpet, flugelhorn, valve trombone, baritone horn, percussion—and he even sings. The question is, what is the proper milieu in which to showcase all that energy and talent?

On Panorama, Nark has chosen to display his singular endowments in an eclectic mélange of jazz, funk, fusion and schmaltz that often places him in the uncomfortable position of outdistancing his musical purpose. While Nark is outstanding on any instrument (his singing is another matter), the charts—most of them, anyway—are limp, lackluster and sometimes weighted down with superfluous acoustic and electronic gimmickry. The exceptions are Marty Paich's hip arrangement of “Lullaby of Broadway” (George Shearing would no doubt be delighted, and the late Al Dubin and Harry Warren disappointed, to learn that Shearing had written it) and a kinetic version of Kenny Barron’s “Trinidad Goodbye” (with a smoking tenor solo courtesy of Peter Fraize).

The rest of the album is of interest mainly for Nark’s stratospheric salvos on trumpet (does his horn have a lower register?) and his splendid work on flugelhorn, valve trombone and baritone horn. On trumpet, he reminds me most of Maynard Ferguson; on valve trombone (which he plays too infrequently), of the late Stu Williamson. Nark sings on three numbers (“I’ve Got a Crush on You,” “Over the Rainbow,” “America”), bearing out Dr. Herb Wong’s opinion in the liner notes that his vocal talent is best described as “heartfelt.” Nark’s screaming trumpet introduces “All Blues,” “Over the Rainbow” and “America,” his mellow flugelhorn “I’ve Got a Crush on You,” “Cavatina” (on which he is accompanied only by Rick Whitehead's classical guitar) and Carlos Santana’s “Europa.”

If you’d like to hear a master musician at work in a variety of settings, Panorama should be the ticket. But don’t expect to hear charts that dazzle or jazz that inspires; this is Vaughn Nark’s voyage from beginning to end, and aside from his unequivocal brilliance there’s not much else to endorse.


Track Listing: Work Song; Lullaby of Broadway; I

Personnel: Vaughn Nark, trumpet, flugelhorn, valve trombone, baritone horn, vocals, percussion; Tim Eyermann, alto sax (1, 8), flute, bass flute; Peter Fraize, tenor sax; Dave Stein Meyer (2), trombone; Pete BarenBregge (2), alto sax; Wade Beach, acoustic, electric piano; Rick Whitehead, acoustic, electric, classical guitar; Dave Marsh (1, 3, 7, 8), acoustic, electric bass; Tom Williams (1, 4, 9, 10), electric bass; Ronnie Shaw (1-3, 5, 7, 8, 10), Keith Killgo (4, 9), drums; Sam

Year Released: 2004 | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Wynton Marsalis Wynton Marsalis
trumpet
Sean Jones Sean Jones
trumpet
Al Hirt Al Hirt
trumpet
Arturo Sandoval Arturo Sandoval
trumpet
Gordon Goodwin Gordon Goodwin
composer/conductor
Herb Alpert Herb Alpert
trumpet
Chris Walden Chris Walden
arranger
Doc Severinsen Doc Severinsen
trumpet
Wayne Bergeron Wayne Bergeron
trumpet
Jon Faddis Jon Faddis
trumpet
John La Barbera John La Barbera
composer/conductor

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "My Foolish Heart" CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Coldest Second Yesterday" CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Pomona" CD/LP/Track Review Pomona
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "R Train On The D Line" CD/LP/Track Review R Train On The D Line
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 10, 2016
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Troy Collins
Published: November 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!