Straight-ahead jazz comes in many forms. The instrumentation he’s chosen for his album keeps Steve Herberman’s debut fine and mellow. His 7-string guitar is played with the fingers. Hence, the music tends to flow with a seamless charm that emphasizes melody and harmony. His band mates solo in like manner, producing a session full of swingin’ ease and loaded with genuine expression. You get the impression these four artists have been together for decades. Mixing standards with originals, Herberman mesmerizes with his allure. He’s described each piece in detail, and provides a few audio samples for the label’s web site . A personal favorite is Duke Pearson’s “Jeannine.” For this one, saxophone, guitar bass and drums meld into one voice, putting it on cruise control and heading on out of town together. There’s no looking back, as the up-tempo maneuver steers this quartet over well-maintained roads that coax you to just keep on driving. A crisp drum solo on tight skins brings it around. As the quartet heads home, their idyllic vacation spot looms in the distance never forgotten and often brought into our daydreams. “Scooter’s Blues,” “Laura” and “Extended Cruise” provide lovely guitar/bass duo conversations, while the remainder of the program features the quartet. Highly recommended, Steve Herberman’s debut introduces a talented guitarist with great taste, who shares his preference for great straight-ahead jazz while in the company of like-minded artists.
Track Listing: 1. I Wish I Knew 7.05
2. Thought Lines 8.21
3. Nobody Else But Me 4.31
4. A Smooth One 8.03
5. Criss Cross 4.26
6. Laura 5.40
7. Scurryin' 3.57
8. Scooter's Blues 6.36
9. Jeannine 6.53
10. Extended Cruise 7.26
11. Isfahan 4.34
Personnel: Steve Herberman -- guitar
Bruce Swaim -- tenor sax
Victor Dvoskin -- bass
Dominic Smith -- drums
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.