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The L.A. Sessions (feat. Bill Cunliffe, John Chiodini & Charles Ruggiero)

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Album Review

Vibraphonist Mark Sherman has primarily focused on his own compositions on earlier CDs, but for this 2011 session he gathered three of his favorite musicians (organist Bill Cunliffe, guitarist John Chiodini, and drummer Charles Ruggiero) to explore standards written by bop greats. Though most of the songs have been recorded fairly often, Sherman puts a fresh touch on them, particularly by featuring organ rather than piano, giving the band a lighter, less percussive sound, and adding an infectious groove with the feeling that the pieces were at most briefly discussed as to tempo and key and little more. Dizzy Gillespie's "Woody N' You" shines in this breezy performance, with the musicians passing the lead back and forth and featuring several breaks by Ruggiero as well. The buoyant treatment of Charlie Parker's "Quasimodo" has a jaunty air, with Cunliffe adding a soulful touch and Chiodini's intricate guitar. In Benny Golson's "Whisper Not," Sherman offers a nice mix of sparse, elegant lines and a rapid-fire bluesy attack. He is also up to the task of tackling fellow vibraphonist Milt Jackson's loping blues "Bags' Groove," powered by the funky playing of his band as he delivers a driving, swinging solo. Sherman also includes his own "Far Away," a spacious, intimate ballad with a sense of longing. Bonus material includes valuable alternate takes of "Woody N" You," "Quasimodo," and "Celia" that must have made the final choice for the master takes difficult.


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Not to be confused with Associated Press reporter Mark Sherman, the Mark Sherman profiled in this bio is a jazz vibist/composer with a post-bop/hard bop orientation. This Mark Sherman (who also plays acoustic piano, electric keyboards, marimba, drums, and percussion) has been greatly influenced by Bobby Hutcherson and the late Milt Jackson, and his other direct or indirect influences on the vibes have included Gary Burton and Mike Mainieri; there is also some of Cal Tjader's sophistication in Sherman's...
Full Bio
The L.A. Sessions (feat. Bill Cunliffe, John Chiodini & Charles Ruggiero), Mark Sherman
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Feb 21, 2012

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