Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Big Mama's Biscuits
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Alto saxophonist Sherman Irby's done his mid-1960s hard-bop homework. His studies, based on the tunes he composed and tackles on Big Mama's Biscuits, range from Sonny Rollins's pair of live trio recordings on Blue Note to ... more »
Alto saxophonist Sherman Irby's done his mid-1960s hard-bop homework. His studies, based on the tunes he composed and tackles on Big Mama's Biscuits, range from Sonny Rollins's pair of live trio recordings on Blue Note to Cannonball Adderley's whole reprtoire. That might seem a circumscribed area of focus, but Irby actually mines some fascinating stuff, including sharply phrased melodies that rough-out to whispering phrases and loping solos that groove perfectly with Irby's flowing trio of himself, drummer Clifford Barbaro, and bassist Gerald Cannon. The latter member calls into question one's immediate impression that the CD-opener, "Conversing with Cannon," is actually a metachat with Cannonball Adderley or with Irby's astute bassist. It rings well either way, with Irby's economical way of forming solos out of woven fragments that each speak intimately to the swinging melodies. There's a southern bluesy charm here--made explicit on "'Bama" and "Lake Tuscaloosa"--but that charm isn't just regional. It's also an embrace of the relaxations of home: the title tune and "Aunt Dorothy" are great nods to the family and the comfiness Irby rolls with in his playing. And don't miss Irby's ballad treatment of "Take the 'A' Train"; it's so completely indebted to late, semitragic composer Billy Strayhorn that your heart will weep. --Andrew Bartlett
Good, straight ahead (I hate that term) blowing.
Keith Hodges | Atlanta, GA | 08/01/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This didn't get much attention in the barrage of releases, but I think it's a fine outing. Sherman has a definite signature on the alto sax, which I think is one mark of any true artist. I buy tons of Jazz discs, and I'm still playing this one after all this time."