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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.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.