219

Bill Cunliffe: Tomo

By

Sign in to view read count
It's always a pleasure to hear a release from the Torii catalogue. The five musicians presented here often play together in each other's company and also appear on other Torii albums, including 2002's Bobby Shew, Gary Foster and Friends Play the Music of Reed Kotler, and two albums from the next year, It's About Love: The Music of Reed Kotler and Bill Cunliffe's How My Heart Sings: The Music of Earl Zindars.

"Tomo" is a Japanese word for friend or soulmate, and in a sense, you could easily say that all of the musicians (and composer Kotler) are friends. The album provides another dozen Reed Kotler compositions that serve as hook-filled examples of his work. Several of these songs are reminders of standards that you've heard before but can't put your finger on, and it seems to me that they're just waiting for the addition of a good lyricist and jazz vocalist.

Saxophonist Bob Sheppard, who was a revelation on last year's tribute to the music of Earl Zindars, is again in fine form on both tenor and soprano sax, as well as flute. Guitarist Larry Koonse, whom I did not hear on the earlier albums, delivers here on several melody statements, as well as tuneful solos showing a lyrical style. Pianist/arranger Bill Cunliffe continues to impress with his ability to play bebop piano as a soloist or feeder and displays a fine sense of shading in his arrangements. Bassist Darek Oles and drummer Mark Ferber complete the picture, and the members of the complete group sound fully integrated and comfortable with each other.

The songs are typical of Kotler's writing. "I Will Always Love You" is done with a bossa tempo, "Sweet Suzannah" a pretty ballad, and "In A Restful Place" is a cooker with strong statements from Sheppard and Koonse.

Track Listing: All My Love's For You, Sweet Suzannah, I Will Always Love You, Did I Ask You If You Knew(That I Love You)?, Someday, I Will Finder Her, In A Restful Place, On A Warm Summer Night, When I Look At You, Love's Such A Funny Thing, It's Been A While, Joyful Times, Waltz For Gary.

Personnel: Bob Sheppard, tenor and soprano sax, flute d'amour; Larry Koonse, guitar; Bill Cunliffe, piano, arrangements; Darek Oles, bass; Mark Ferber, drums; Reed Kotler, composer, producer.

Title: Tomo | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Torii Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Nightfall" CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "Akua's Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 9, 2017
Read "Trip" CD/LP/Track Review Trip
by Jeff Winbush
Published: September 12, 2017
Read "Skyjack" CD/LP/Track Review Skyjack
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "Love Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Dance of Time" CD/LP/Track Review Dance of Time
by Jeff Winbush
Published: May 26, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.