Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
150

Mark Sherman: The Motive Series

Dr. Judith Schlesinger By

Sign in to view read count Views
Mark Sherman: The Motive Series Mark Sherman is a fresh, clear, bright voice on the vibes. This is apparent from the first track of The Motive Series , where the often-lugubrious "Nature Boy" bolts out of the tepid jungle into daylight: in this arrangement, it snaps, crackles, and swings. His unique sound is also obvious on the material that follows, mostly original pieces that are varied and tuneful, spanning the gamut from burners (the dynamic "Motive #10 Judaican," with a blistering Brecker) to lovely ballads ("Motive #3 That Moment") and moody pieces ("Motive #11" being the perfect sonic translation of its subtitle, "Always Reaching").



But while Sherman is fresh, he's hardly new. Part of Larry Coryell's group for over five years and trained at Julliard, where he's given clinics, he's played with the New York Philharmonic and the Joffrey Ballet as well as Peggy Lee, Mel Torme, and Ruth Brown. Sherman has also produced releases for Rodney Jones and Coryell. The Motive Series" is his sixth CD since 1986, three of which appeared on his own label, Miles High Productions. This one comes with generous praise from Joe Locke, another fine vibraphonist, who says, "I hear the voices of Bags and Bill Evans and Trane and McCoy and so many others all expressed through the medium of his mallets."



I have to agree with Locke. More, Sherman has assembled an excellent band that does full justice to his ideas. There's a pleasing balance in this group, especially between the vibes and Allen Farnham's lyrical, energetic piano, which enhance rather than muddy each other. His compositions are arresting, melodic and direct. My favorite (so far—this CD will get many repeat plays) is "Motive #1," with its imaginative harmonic structure and changing phases.



Add to this a soulful but non-sappy rendition of Willard Robison's classic "Old Folks," and you have a splendid package with a satisfying mix of darkness and light. The Motive Series should elevate Mark Sherman to the prominence he deserves.


Track Listing: Nature Boy, Motive #10 Judaican (for Kenny Kirkland), Motive #1, Motive #11 Always Reaching, Motive #7 Alla Sandra, Motive #3, That Moment, Motive #4 Venture Within, Motive #9, Soothing Dream, Old Folks, Motive #8 Altered

Personnel: Mark Sherman (vibes, composer), Allen Farnham (piano), Phil Palombi (bass), Tim Horner (drums), Michael Brecker (tenor sax, two tracks)

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: CAP | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
L. A. Sessions
L. A. Sessions
Miles High Records
2012
buy
Live at the Bird's Eye
Live at the Bird's Eye
Miles High Records
2008
buy
Family First
Family First
City Hall Records
2008
buy
Family First
Family First
City Hall Records
2007
buy
One Step Closer
One Step Closer
CAP
2005
buy
The Motive Series
The Motive Series
CAP
2005
buy
Dave Brubeck Dave Brubeck
piano
Benny Golson Benny Golson
sax, tenor
Jimmy Bruno Jimmy Bruno
guitar
Frank Macchia Frank Macchia
composer/conductor
Ray Brown Ray Brown
bass, acoustic
Shelly Manne Shelly Manne
drums
Ari Hoenig Ari Hoenig
drums
Jason Moran Jason Moran
piano

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.