Marvin Stamm: Marvin Stamm; Rufus Reid (bass instrument); Ed Stoph (drums); Bill Mays.
Personnel: Marvin Stamm (trumpet, flugelhorn); John Abercrombie (guitar); Bill Mays (piano); Ed Soph (drums).
Additional personnel: John Abercrombie.
Liner Note Authors: Marvin Stamm; Ed Soph.
Recording information: Birdland, New York, NY (09/11/2003-09/13/2003).
Photographers: Charles Baxter; Judith Kirtley.
The Marvin Stamm and Ed Soph project consists of four veteran musicians, including trumpeter and flugelhornist Marvin Stamm, drummer Ed Soph, pianist Bill Mays and bassist Rufus Reid, plus special guest John Abercrombie on guitar (on four tracks), all of whom have long since established their jazz credentials. But these great players also know something about writing challenging yet accessible charts. Stamm's unusual "Samba du Nancy" begins with Soph's long drum solo, with Mays gradually adding raindrop-like accompaniment before the piece evolves into a brisk post-bop flavored samba as the flugelhornist makes his entrance. Mays contributed "In Her Arms," a piece with a Latin undercurrent that stimulates the soloists, along with his infectious "Gemma's Eyes," which moves in and out of a waltz setting. Reid penned the cheerful "When She Smiles Upon Your Face" (which deserves lyrics, if it doesn't already have some), along with the funky closer "The Meddler." Highly recommended. ~ Ken Dryden