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In Her Eyes by Bob Lark and Phil Woods Quintet

This CD proves why trumpet players always somehow manage to have a girl on their arm. Bob Lark plays with some of the most lyrical and thoughtful lines seen in contemporary trumpet players. In every track of this album, he sets a mood that one can tell has been carefully thought out and decided upon. Although Lark is defenitely the leader of this group, his solos show a good amount of thought and consideration for mood as well as feel.

Lark is backed up by an all-star cast, including alto saxophonist Phil Woods and pianist Jim McNeely. The interaction between these three in particular was especially rewarding to hear. Many times they would finish phrases for one another. Other times the two horn players would duet while the rhythm section kept the same tight groove.

Most of the charts on the album are written by Bob Lark, with "Q's Delight" and "Bouquet Chorale" by Phil Woods. In addition a very catchy Charlie Parker tune entitled "Charlie's Wig" is included, in which Lark does some good mute work and Woods has a great solo. The opening track, "It's You or No One", starts the record off at a good pace and establishes the defenite bebop vibe. Abruzzi is a very smooth lyrical bossa tune that displays Lark's abilities in what seems to be his favorite medium. "In Her Eyes" features Lark on the flugelhorn trading off melodies with Woods, as well as some beautiful accompaniment by McNeely. "Q's Delight" once again shows how well these musicians know each other and trade ideas within solos. Drummer Bill Goodwin offers a great complement of sounds to this chart. "Mad Dan's" and "Roatan" are both light Latin and Carribean feels with great beats and uplifting solos that are extremely fun to listen to.

In essence, In Her Eyes has all the makings of a great bebop cd: ripping bop charts, soulful ballads, and some stuff that's just makes you feel better after listening to it. The musicianship is superb, and it seems like the music was as fun to play as it is to listen to.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Bob Lark and Phil Woods Quintet
  • CD Title: In Her Eyes
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Jazzed Media
  • Rating: Five Stars
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