Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Taking their name from Thelonious Monk's middle name, Sphere's latest album projects the relaxed self-assurance one would expect from this group of jazz veterans. Led by altoist Gary Bartz and pianist Kenny Barron, propell... more »
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Taking their name from Thelonious Monk's middle name, Sphere's latest album projects the relaxed self-assurance one would expect from this group of jazz veterans. Led by altoist Gary Bartz and pianist Kenny Barron, propelled by the effortless swing of drummer Ben Riley and bassist Buster Williams, Sphere stretches out on six mid-tempo originals and a blistering version of "Surrey with the Fringe on Top." Bartz's fat, slightly rakish tone imbued with a hint of the blues gives the group its most distinctive voice (imagine an older Steve Coleman), but it is the sense of a group mind at work that gives this music its timeless feel. The lengthy tunes (averaging eight minutes) allow for unhurried, four-way explorations of the "classic jazz" vernacular. Exuding an air of unpretentious conversation among fellow travelers, its grace and balance more than offset its lack, at times, of urgency and passion. The sole ballad, "Twilight Song," with Bartz on soprano, is gorgeous. --Wally Shoup
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Masterful Comeback CD...
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw Sphere at its November 1998 performance at Purdue University, and I left it feeling greatly captivated and refreshed! They've got a hip easy-listening sound that's in a class by itself. This self-titled comeback album contains all of the tunes lined up from that show. Take my advice, you're in for a musical treat!"
This combination is exceptional
Steve Worthington | Millis, MA United States | 02/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having seen Sphere live at the Vanguard, I was pleased when I found this CD, whilst not having the presence of the Live event, the combination of Barron, Riley, Bartz and Williams, just works! Bartz as a new addition to the original ensemble, is a perfect, foil to the rythm of Barron, and Riley (which is about as superb as is found in the Jazz World), and add Buster Williams, and you have a group that combines all the color required to produce an exceptional listening experience!"