111

Steve Herberman: Thought Lines

By

Sign in to view read count
Steve Herberman: Thought Lines Guitarist Steve Herberman is someone to watch --- or listen to, rather. His guitar riffs have a smooth, comforting feel that surpasses the increasing monotony of smooth-jazz radio outlets. In Thought Lines , an often very fine album, Herberman’s guitar conjures up a hearty helping of jazz standards. Everyone from Oscar Hammerstein, Jerome Kern, Charlie Christian, Benny Goodman, Thelonious Monk, Billy Strayhorn and The Duke himself are agreeably reincarnated.

From a solid, smooth-meets-bounce opener, “I Wish I Knew” where Herberman’s guitar meshes nicely with Bruce Swaim’s tenor sax, to a near note-for-note remaking of Monk’s “Criss Cross,” Herberman and his backup trio (Swain’s sax, Victor Dvoskin’s bass, Dominic Smith’s drums) are able to recreate classic tunes but keep them lively, too. It’s the rare album that’s respectful but not too so, allowing for some room to belt out on their own and return to the material when appropriate. At times, the other players are so prominently featured it’s impossible to consider them as the jazz help: they, too, show their skill, and on such tracks as a remaking of Stayhorn and Ellington’s “Isfahan,” indeed Swain’s sax is the star.

Credit Herberman for knowing when to be the key player but also when to step back and let his cats step forward; they create a holistic balance that’s welcome indeed. Oddly, one of the most innovative numbers is yet another version of what is oft-called the most famous romantic film ballad of our time, David Raksin’s “Laura” (from the magnificent 1944 Otto Preminger noir). Made famous later by Charlie Parker, the piece almost always calls for a sax or a trumpet to tell its bittersweet tale, but Herberman brings his guitar and lends it a new warmth.

Not all of the album measures up so strongly, part of the problem when working from established classics: respect can be a dangerous thing when artistic innovation is considered. You want, as a listener, for the album to go even further, to reach out in more directions, as Herberman does in his own original, “Scurryin’.” Yet the album remains, as its lead player, worth the investment.


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

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Reach Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Special Kay!" CD/LP/Track Review Special Kay!
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 18, 2016
Read "In Denmark 1959-1960" CD/LP/Track Review In Denmark 1959-1960
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 18, 2016
Read "Mt. Crushmore" CD/LP/Track Review Mt. Crushmore
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 8, 2017
Read "Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Duo
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "Carol Morgan Quartet - Post Cool Vol. 1 The Night Shift" CD/LP/Track Review Carol Morgan Quartet - Post Cool Vol. 1 The Night Shift
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Stephan Crump's Rhombal" CD/LP/Track Review Stephan Crump's Rhombal
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!