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Abby & Norm Group: Volume 1: The Book Of Norm

Jim Santella By

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It's fitting that Norman Zocher's "Til Death Do Us Part" lopes along as a loving ballad that pairs his electric guitar with Abigail Aronson's electric bass. The gospel-tinged composition finds the quartet supporting each as they speak out in a conversational style, sometimes in perfect harmony and sometimes seeing things differently. The comfortable 6/8 rhythm includes swirling brushes and gentle piano chords that accompany their stroll down the aisle. Norm and Abby, who met in Advanced Harmony class at the New England Conservatory, were married in 1997. Both are Assistant Professors of Guitar at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. More information about the band and current projects can be found at http://members.aol.com/atozmusic/index.html .

"Old Blues" represents much of the session. Zocher's guitar (the featured instrumental voice) moves furtively in and out of the limelight with a down-home charm and rock-influenced technical prowess. Pianist Bevan Manson, whose day job is chairman of the jazz department at the University of California in Berkeley, comps with a wide array of tools and solos frequently. His approach is consistent with the guitarist's slant; however, the mix takes him to a more subdued volume level. Bassist Aronson, whose degree is in classical guitar performance, favors a lyrical accompaniment technique with fiery solo lines. George Garzone's contributions to the session are special in their apparent ease of movement. While his motion is highly creative and spontaneous, the saxophonist's manner gives one the outward impression that things are consistently smooth and laid-back. All that action taking place in the arena, and yet the scenery seems mellow. It's a perfect mix.

Track Listing: Jungle Tune; Giant Steps; Hick Licks; Know It; ?Til Death Do Us Part; Cytyc Thinprep 2000?; Devolution; Buffy; Old Blues; Berklee Tune.

Personnel: Norman Zocher- guitar; Abigail Aronson- bass, wordless vocals added on "Jungle Tune"; Bevan Manson- piano; Brooke Sofferman- drums; George Garzone- tenor sax on "Jungle Tune" and "Know It".

| Record Label: A to Z Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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