Pianist/composer Soskin has assembled a tight ensemble for his latest recording. Right from the opening "17," the music comes out swinging. The two horn line up blends well and Soskin’s piano is ever present, though not dominating. Hagans reminds me of Freddie Hubbard. His tone is full without being harsh. "Elysian Fields" is a mid-tempo tune where Soskin really shines. His piano solo is strong and lyrical. Jay Anderson on bass, and Matt Wilson on drums provide him with strong support without getting in the way. Bill Evans’ "Time Remembered" opens with beautiful solo piano before picking up the tempo when the band enters. "Manfredo’s Fest" is an easy Latin tune featuring some nice soprano sax work from Drewes. Bud Powell’s "Un Poco Loco" is done as a piano/percussion duet. The pared down instrumentation keeps the song light and moving. The closing "Lefty" gives the rhythm section a chance to break out and stretch a bit. This is a nice, easy session that swings without being obtrusive. Soskin shows why he has been busy as both a pianist and arranger over the past twenty years. The musicians here are solid and navigate the music with verve.
Artist / Group Name:Mark Soskin
CD Title:17 (seventeen)
Musicians:Mark Soskin (piano), Billy Drewes (tenor/soprano sax), Jay Anderson (bass), Matt Wilson (drums), Tim Hagans (trumpet/flugelhorn), Daniel Sadownick (percussion/congos)