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Joe Sherbanee presents a well-rounded portfolio of his talents as a keyboardist, drummer, composer, and producer onThe Road Ahead.Some cuts are rather par-for-the-course for contemporary jazz fare, but others shine with a bit more individualism. The reflective "San Luis" elicits some nice soloing from Jimmy Haslip on bass and Eric Marienthal on soprano. Of the Danny Donnelly vocals, the title cut seems mundane, but the blues-soaked "Blue-Eyed Persuasion" lets Donnelly wail more soulfully, sparred on by Marienthal's alto.
The roster on the disc is split between big-name talent (Eric Marienthal, Marc Antoine, Jimmy Haslip, Will Kennedy), and what I would assume is Sherbanee's working band. His band proves fully capable, especially on the closer, Mike Mainieri's "Self Portrait." Another highlight: Jimmy Haslip on fretless electric bass paired with Steve Araujo on acoustic bass on the quiet "November." (Native Language Music 0913)
Tracks:Big City; 5:30 Friday; The Road Ahead; San Luis; Blue-Eyed Persuasion; Blackbird; Steppin' Out; November; Self Portrait. (45:22)
Joe Sherbanee, keyboards, drums; Marc Antoine, Matt Waldrum, Danny Donnelly, guitars; Jimmy Haslip, Steve Araujo, bass; Will Kennedy, drums; Theo Bishop, keyboards and programming; Eric Marienthal, soprano, alto and tenor sax; Jason Freese, tenor sax; Danny Donnelly, vocals.