|Dave Morgan, Mark Neuenschwander|
Morgan dug deep into the jazz repertoire to present several classic tunes that aren't heard much these days. They included Illinois Jacquet and Sir Charles Thompson's "Robbin's Nest," Eddie Harris' "Freedom Jazz Dance" (the latter a feature for Chrupcala), and Duke Ellington's "Azure," which featured Morgan on both vibes and vocals.
|Bill E. Peterson|
Vibes player Milt Jackson's composition "J.C." spotlighted Neuenschwander, who Morgan described as "one of the finest bass players to walk this earth." Few listeners would disagree. The band's take on "J.C." included intriguing conversational call-and-response segments between the bass and the vibes. Peterson well understands the art of musical conversation between all of the players on the bandstand, adding sly comments and strong punctuation with his sticks and brushes throughout the set.
The band's repertoire included Ivan Lins' sultry Brazilian bossa nova hit "Love Dance" (recorded by many singers including Barbra Streisand and George Benson) and strong takes on Clark Terry's arrangement of "Perdido" and Clifford Brown's bouncy "Joy Spring." Zottola tipped his hat to the classic Miles Davis sound with his Harmon-muted take on "Bye Bye Blackbird." His flugelhorn rendition of Sidney Bechet's "Si Tu Vois Ma Mere," an aching ballad that dominated the music in Woody Allen's film "Midnight in Paris," was superb.
Shelton, Mauldin and Martin provided exemplary support throughout the set. Martin is interesting because of the wide range of subtle touches and extensive accents he gets out of his minimalist drum kit. Because he drives an Austin Healy, he packs just a tiny bass drum, one snare, two cymbals and a hi-hat, but he gets a phenomenal amount of music from them. A lot of younger drummers should pay close attention to his approach. It's not how much gear you have, it's what you do with it.
|Mac Chrupcala, Dave Morgan, Mark Neuenschwander, Bill E. Peterson|
|Stu Shelton, Bob Zottola, Kevin Mauldin, James Martin|