Thought Lines is a perfect title for this leader debut from Maryland-based guitarist Steve Herberman, since his guitar lines seem to flow as naturally as thought. This CD was a welcome companion on my recent road trip after a winter storm, perfectly suiting that contemplative, long-drive mood, with enough spark and swing to keep me chugging along. There's a gentleness to Herberman's playing that matched the snow-covered forests I was passing, but there's also plenty of groove in there too. His decision not to use a pick warms his sound and makes it more organic, while his use of the extra bass string expands and deepens his tone.
Herberman's solos are terrific: uncluttered and meaningful, they command attention - especially "I Wish I KNew" and his own "Scurryin'." This leader is generous with the spotlight, and his bandmates supply some wonderful moments, like Bruce Swain's satiny tenor solos and Dominic Smith's hand-drumming on the playful "Nobody Else But Me." Charlie Christian's "A Smooth One" is the ultimate truth in packaging, the quartet swings like mad on "Jeannine" and "Scurryin'," and there's a splendid version of "Laura" with just bass and guitar.
Thought Lines offers a varied mix of mood and approach, all tasteful and direct, showcasing Herberman's compositional gifts on four tracks. For me, one sure sign of writing talent is when I can't get a new melody out of my head. Weeks after hearing it, the intriguing title track is still in there, and I expect this CD will also remain in my player for a long time.
Track Listing: I Wish I Knew, Thought Lines, Nobody Else but Me, A Smooth One, Criss
Cross, Laura, Scurryin', Scooter's Blues, Jeannine, Extended Cruise,
Personnel: Steve Herberman (guitar, composer), Bruce Swaim (tenor sax), Victor
Dvoskin (bass), Dominic Smith (drums)
I love jazz because I find it to be the best way for a musician to express himself freely. I'm a photographer and I've been playing drums for 30 years, I've been a professional musician for eight years and I like Jazz and Fusion music
I love jazz because I find it to be the best way for a musician to express himself freely. I'm a photographer and I've been playing drums for 30 years, I've been a professional musician for eight years and I like Jazz and Fusion music. In my life I was lucky enough to meet great musicians like Vinnie Colaiuta, Peter Erskine, Steve Smith, Dave Weckl, Horacio el Negro Hernandez, Jojo Mayer, Will Kennedy, Manu Katché, Christian Meyer, Trilok Gurtu, Daniele Sepe, Stefano Bollani, Enzo Avitabile, John Patitucci, Anthony Jackson and many others.