TASTY AND INTIMATE…Bruce Forman Trio: The Book of Forman, Bob James & Nathan East: The New Cool, Larry Newcomb Quartet: Intentionally Live!

Not too noisy, not too boisterous, but still able to deftly swing. Here are three small groups that keep it simple.

Guitarist Bruce Forman is one of LA’s six stringed studs. He’s always playing somewhere in the city, usually with his Cow Bop band, or jamming with john Pisano on a Tuesday Guitar Night. Here, he’s with Alex Frank/b and the inimitable Marvin “Smitty” Smith/dr for a hip collection of originals and standards. Forman is his usual  lyrical self, teams  with the caffeinated Smith as the latter hits the cymbals with a vengeance on “Hate Mail (Letters of Love)” and rumbles in the jungle on the bluesy “The Epic Cure.” Frank shows his rich touch on “Ray Brown’s Bass” and bows with delight on  “The Song Is You” while everyone bops with delight on “PC Jones” and gets cozy on “On The Street Where You Live.” A complete delight as jazz giants show their wares.

Legendary pianist/arranger Bob James teams up with rich toned bassist Nathan East for a collection of duets and surprises on a rewardingly gentle mix of originals and standards. Delicate interplay between the two is palpable on suave pieces such as “The New Cool” and the deftly bopping “Oliver’s Bag” while strings come into play to serve as silky drapes  on “All Will Be Revealed” and gentle orchestrates frame “Ghost of A Chance” with illumination. Vince Gill delivers surprisingly deep vocals on a clever read of “Crazy” and some rich Brazilia is brought onto the scene by Rafael Padilla/pec and Scott Williamson/dr on “Canto Y La Danza.” A an alluring subtle and whispering delight.

Guitarist Larry Newcomb brings together Eric Olsen/p, Dmitri Kilesnik/b and Jimmy Madison/dr for a no-frills “live” recording session of originals and bop standards. Newcomb is clean as a whistle as he blows through “Au Privave” with delight, while delivering an aria performance on “Stardust.” Olsen gets the spotlight on “Olhos De Gato” and “All The Things You Are” and together with the leader do some nice line dancing together on “Thanks Jack” and “Have You Met Miss Jones?”. The rhythm team is flexible and in the pocket throughout, contributing to an impressive and hip recording.




Leave a Reply