153

Vaughn Nark: Somethin' Special

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
The high-note trumpet specialist can amaze an audience with his awesome physical strength and stamina, but quite often forgoes expressiveness through his concentration on lofty athletic feats. Vaughn Nark has solid support and a controlled manner in the "stratospheric" register; he finishes "My Funny Valentine" with an "A" above double "C." But it’s a welcome surprise to learn from this, his first major release, that the well-rounded clinician also includes heartfelt expression, swing, and other fundamental elements in his session. Mavens of the trumpet high-note routine include Cat Anderson, Maynard Ferguson, Bill Chase, Dizzy Gillespie and Jon Faddis. Nark is most influenced by Gillespie, dedicates this album to the unique trumpeter/singer, and includes two of the artist’s compositions. A baby boomer and veteran of about 20 years with the U.S. Air Force Airmen Of Note, Nark overdubs his recording by supplying the sounds of a trumpet and trombone section himself.

Dizzy Gillespie’s "Fiesta Mojo" includes some brilliant flute work from Tim Eyermann; the doubled melodic lines between flutist and trumpeter find Nark an octave above. Eyermann’s warm lower-register flute solo is followed by fours with the trumpeter; the latter includes a sample of the flutist’s trademark in-your-face tongued attacks. Nark’s theme of contrasting warm & emotional with high & dry extends through to each of the other performers. Tenor saxophonist Saul Miller’s gentle saxophone solo on Gillespie’s "Tanga" is followed by Nark’s mellow flugelhorn response and acoustic bass spotlights colored by congas and light Latin drum work. Tom Williams’ acoustic bass is featured as well on Benny Carter’s "The Courtship," which again pairs the trumpeter with Miller’s easygoing sound. Peter Fraize, whose day job is Director of Jazz Studies at George Washington University, supplies a dramatic fired-up feature on John Coltrane’s "Impressions." Freddie Hubbard’s "Povo" provides an opportunity for piano and electric guitar to recreate some early 1970s-era electronic funk, while "My Funny Valentine" offers a sample of Eyermann’s firm alto saxophone work in partnership with Nark’s trumpet. The leader sings expressive tales on "My Funny Valentine" and "She Was Too Good to Me," revealing a gentle vocal style not unlike that of Chet Baker. His high-power scatting on "Billie’s Bounce" clearly pays tribute to the memory of Dizzy Gillespie, as does the session’s well-balanced approach to the various sides of a trumpeter’s repertoire. Recommended.

Track Listing: Softly as in a Morning Sunrise; Fiesta Mojo; My Funny Valentine; Tanga; Billie

Personnel: Vaughn Nark- trumpet, flugelhorn, valve trombone, baritone horn, percussion, vocal on "My Funny Valentine" and "She Was Too Good to Me"; Tim Eyermann- alto saxophone on "My Funny Valentine," flute on "Fiesta Mojo"; Peter Fraize- tenor saxophone on "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise" and "Impressions"; Fred Hughes- acoustic piano, keyboards; Keith Killgo- drums; Saul Miller- tenor saxophone; Alfredo Mojica- percussion; Rick Whitehead- acoustic guitar, electric guitar; Tom Williams- acoustic bass, electric bass.

| Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "El Toro" CD/LP/Track Review El Toro
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "For Free" CD/LP/Track Review For Free
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "United" CD/LP/Track Review United
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "The Drive" CD/LP/Track Review The Drive
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 16, 2016
Read "Agartha" CD/LP/Track Review Agartha
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 14, 2016
Read "Duopoly" CD/LP/Track Review Duopoly
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

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!