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Mark Sherman: one step closer

- CD Reviews

Mark Sherman: one step closer
2005 Consolidated Artists Productions

Mark Sherman on Vibraphone/Marimba
Joe Lovano on Tenor Saxophone
Joe Magnarelli on Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Allen Farnham on Piano
Dean Johnson on Bass
Tim Horner on Drums

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
February 20, 2006

This CD is an eclectic mix of compositions by Mark Sherman, Allen Farnham, and a couple of ballads as well, with a good contrast of driven rhythms, sensual standards, and even a languorous lullaby. Sherman, on vibraphone, stands with the best for mastery of this challenging instrument, and Sherman, as composer and arranger, uses ingenuity in assembling both sax and trumpet for brassy textures.

Notable tracks:

#3 –Moon River – Composed by H. Mancini and J. Mercer. A reflective and romantic track, this ballad is presented with authentic Mancini mystique. Sherman on vibes opens the melody with Farnham’s backup in a soft, sensitive mood. Johnson and Horner on bass and brushes provide a cushion, before and after Lovano’s intriguing interlude.

#6 –Genkitively – Composed by Allen Farnham. With trumpet and sax infused in this upbeat, jumping track, Farnham generously showcases Sherman’s vibes, as well. The piano plays support in this tropically rhythmic piece.

#8 –My One and Only Love – Composed by R. Mellon and G. Wood. Sherman and Farnham create an elegant mood in this mellifluous ballad, backed by Horner on brushes and Johnson on bass. Lovano takes a smooth solo in between, breathy and bluesy, and the effect is magnetic and memorable. It’s a track to hear numerous times for total appreciation of the value of vibes in jazz.

#9 –Ella Bella – Composed by Mark Sherman. Magnarelli spices this track with buoyant brassiness, as he shares the theme with Sherman and Farnham. This is one of my favorite tracks, for its fascinating fusion.

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