The Music of Vern Thompson
Warren Gale, Jr. and Louis Fasman, trumpet; Bob Sheppard, flute and saxophones; Wayne Wallace and Marty Wehner, trombones; Adrienne Chambers, French horn; Randy Vincent, guitar; Billy Childs, piano; Tony Dumas, bass; John Santos, timbales; Michael Spiro and Butch Haynes, congas; Akira Tana, drums
Composer and arranger Vern Thompson's enormous technical skill and artistic vision are at the core of this fine straight -ahead Jazz session, recorded at the Spark Studios in Emeryville, California. Thompson is of a highly melodic temperament, and his challenging, original compositions are thoughtfully interpreted by outstanding performers who are leaders in their own right. Gale and Childs are among the most melodic players in contemporary music, and their inspired efforts here deserve repeated listening. A case in point is expertly crafted the quintet performance, "Pooka", a medium up-tempo piece whose harmonic structure evokes Woody Shaw' s best designs. And Tana's explosive polyrhythms on "Swirl" reveal a creative musician in his prime. This is an advanced group that deserves an immediate engagement at a premiere Jazz performance venue.
by James D. Armstrong, Jr. Editor, Music in Transition
Jazz Now Interactive
Copyright Jazz Now, May 2001 issue, all rights reserved