— OR —
– August 2, 2023
(Miles High Records)
The multi-talented Mark Sherman is equally skilled as a jazz pianist and vibraphonist, and he has also been employed as a classical percussionist. Along the way he has worked with a large number of major names including Peggy Lee, Kenny Kirkland (as a drummer), Kenny Barron, Wynton Marsalis, Michael Brecker, Larry Coryell, and Joe Lovano.
With Freedom is Sherman’s 20th album as a leader or co-leader. The modern straight ahead set features him splitting his time between piano and vibes while performing in a quartet with the impressive young tenor-saxophonist Sam Dillon, bassist Ugonna Okegwo, and drummer Johnathan Blake. They interpret five originals by the leader, one by Dillon, “I’ll Wait And Pray,” and the 1930s standard (made famous by Bing Crosby) “Love Thy Neighbor.”
While Okegwo and Blake provide solid support, the main focus is on Sherman and Dillon. They co-star on such memorable numbers as the high-powered “Third Eye Vision,” a swinging “Love Thy Neighbor,” the warm ballad “Fanny O” (which has a memorable melody), Sherman’s energetic jazz waltz “My Open Heart,” and a Tranish “Transcendence.” Sherman is quite generous in featuring Dillon throughout the set, having him take the first half of the closing ballad “I’ll Wait And Pray” unaccompanied.
With Freedom is a fine showcase for both Mark Sherman (as a pianist, vibraphonist and composer) and the up-and-coming Sam Dillon. It has many bright moments and is available from http://www.mileshighrecords.com
Los Angeles Jazz Scene
Mark Sherman – With Freedom (Miles High Records)
Published on 18.06.2023.
OH! The basics! Piano-vibraphone, tenor saxophone, double bass and drums.
But that sound! OH! Blood, animal, dead: bebop.
Launching Mark Sherman’s new album, we drop into the whirlwind of the world city, New York City. His music pulsates, flows, hums, spins, rushes, but he does it with the greatest orderliness! This is simply an overwhelming album! The author and performer of the songs himself lives here. Born in the Bronx, Mark Sherman (1957) is a vibraphonist, pianist, composer, bandleader and producer who has worked on more than 170 CD recordings. Sherman’s 2005 recording of “One Step Closer” featuring Joe Lovano spent 12 weeks in the top ten at US jazz radio.
He was the winner of the DownBeat magazine critics’ Rising Vibes award in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
His book, The Poetic Language of Jazz Improvisation, provides a strong foundation for the intermediate and advanced jazz musician. Currently, he continues the tradition of jazz education through performing and teaching piano and drums: he has been a professor of jazz studies at the Juilliard Jazz program in NYC for 15 years. The club atmosphere of his recently released album “With Freedom” is really impressive.
Young saxophonist Sam “Killer” Dillon takes the lead. He is truly a killer: the sound, the technique, the entire saxophone, he performs the songs with enormous virtuosity. In 2013, Sam was one of the 13 semi-finalists in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, performing at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. It’s a great idea that Mark also played the piano themes with a vibraphone, and thus he duets with himself in some tracks. He also appears on the album as a vibraphonist, playing the theme with wonderful elegance in the composition “Fanny O”.
The compositions of the 8 songs on the disc are extremely diverse. They offer a glimpse into the world of classic jazz: bebop, blues, ballads, 6/4 rhythms, then classic swing, with improvisations on the piano, vibraphone and saxophone in a fantastically dynamic yet catchy format.
Incredible dynamism, then a lyrical ballad, then relentlessly energetic again, then a dreamy waltz theme, then powerful bebop rhythms again.
It’s like we’re really sitting in a New York jazz club…
Precise, elegant rhythm section, delicately provides foundations in compositions. Sometimes a double bass solo or a response with the drums.
And the dreamy saxophone-piano duet of the last note is for me a fitting tribute to John Coltrane.
The soul of a jazz lover is happy when listening to beautiful, masterpiece compositions.
This is an honest album. He gives himself, but the most of himself: the incredibly diverse, twisty and colorful world of jazz!
Mark Sherman – piano, vibraphone
Sam Dillon – tenor saxophone
Ugonna Okegwo – double bass
Bernd Reiter – drums
Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.