Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mark Sherman - The L.A. Sessions

Oldies given a fresh coat ...
Everything old can be new again (Mark Sherman)
Hans Koert

The vibraphone is not the most easy instrument to handle if you're a jazz musician touring. Like double bass, Hammond, vibes and piano players know, touring with such an unmanageable instrument is very hard. Piano players seem to be lucky guys in this small list, as most club or stage have its own piano, but what about the others? The vibraphone seems to be one of those forgotten, neglected instruments in modern jazz, restricted to a handful of inspired musicians, who love to travel with this unmanageable instrument. Of course, most of you can list some historical names like Red Norvo, who had his own big band during the 1930s or Lionel Hampton who is said to be one of the best vibe player ever. Adrian Rollini, who was known as an important baritone saxophone player during the 1920s and 1930s started to play the vibraphone mid 1930s. Since the 1950s you can't pass vibe players like Milt Jackson, Terry Gibbs and of course, still active nowadays, Bobby Hutcherson .... Mark Sherman is in good company and is active on the vibraphone since his 18th, when he graduated from the Juilliard School of Music. During his 30 years career, Mark started on drums, but changed soon to vibraphone, can be heard on more then a hundred albums, with great names like Peggy Lee, Larry Coryell, Rodney Jones, Liza Minelli and Lena Horn. Up to now Mark made a dozen albums under his own name and, recently, a new one was added to this list: The L.A. Sessions.
The Mark Sherman Quartet features Mark Sherman on vibes, Bill Cunliffe on Hammond B3, John Chiodini on guitar and Charles Ruggiers on drums.  This album was recorded in one of the best recording studios in the world, Mark explains. On a recent west coast tour I was fortunate to record in Berkeley Street Studios, the Apogee Electronics private studio along with world class engineer Roger Robinfore. This studio is nowadays recognized as the #1 digital audio solution in the world.
Mark Sherman, who is known as a sought after accompanists, who toured with vocalists like Liza Minelli, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis jr., Jon Hendricks, Mel Tormé and Charles Aznavour, is also active in classical music and teaches as a professor in jazz studies at the Juilliard School of Music and the New Jersey City University. Although most of his previous albums contain mostly his own compositions, he dreamed making an album with standards, with the great well known tunes as played by the originators of bebop.  He asked Bill Cunliffe, John Chiodini and Charles Ruggiero to join him and selected ten tunes, like Dizzy's Woody n 'You, which opens the album. Other well known tunes are Miles Davis Serpent's Tooth, which was recorded in 1953 with Parker, Rollins, Percy Heath, Walther Bishop and Philly Joe Jones; Benny Golson's Whisper Not, Bud Powell's Celia and Coltrane's Moment's Notice ( Blue Train 1957) - all tracks belong to what could be labelled as the jazz canon. Far Away is the only own composition in this selection, but all the others are oldies given a fresh coat ........ in the belief that everything old can indeed be new again!
Love to finish with a great compilation of slides made during previous tours and projects by Mark Sherman, with some excellent vibes playing, that gives you an idea of this album.

A great album which offers you the great 1950s standards as fresh and new as if they were composed yesterday. An album you should have heard. It can be ordered at the Miles High Record site.  
Hans Koert
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Mark Sherman makes in the liner notes of his latest album, a public confession, that he loved to record those bebop tunes that inspired him when he started to play jazz years ago ........ For his latest album entitled The L.A. Sessions he selected ten standards that where vital to him in the early stages of music. Keep (it) Swinging loves to point you to this album which fascinated me .... If you don't want to miss any contribution of this Keep (it) Swingingblog, becaome a member of the Facebook group Keep (it) Swinging or ask its free monthly newsletter:

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