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Blue in Green by Terry Plumeri

Bassist Terry Plumeri, in his new CD Blue in Green takes a unique approach. As the group’s leader, he has decided that all introductory melodies and his solos will be played with bowed bass. He will only pluck the bass, pizzicato-style, when backing up David Goldblatt in his piano solos. Completing the trio is the talented jazz veteran Joe LaBarbera on drums.

On the album, there are an adventurous selection of jazz standards. The group does a flawless job with the material. Arrangements begin with Plumeri playing the melody, as he utilizes his extraordinary bowing skill. Then Goldblatt takes over on piano by usually upping the tempo while displaying great improvisational skill.

The only problem with this approach lies with the fact that there is a sameness of sound about the bowed bass. The concept works well on the Jobim’s plaintively meditative Boss Nova classic "Corcovado" and on the lonely after-hours mood of Monk’s "Round Midnight." However, after listening to the dour tone of the record’s first two tunes, Victor Young’s’s "Beautiful Love" and Miles Davis’ "Blue in Green," the listener may start thinking: "Enough already!"

The third track, Mercer’s "Autumn Leaves," happily breaks the somber mood when a swinging groove kicks in with Plumeri laying down his bow and jamming with the others. In this track and in Wayne Shorter’s "Footprints," pianist Goldblatt is a definite propulsive presence. Not to be denied, LaBarbera chimes in with his own bombastic solo.

Again, in Herbie Hancock’s "Dolphin Dance," Plumeri’s approach really works after his melodic bass introduction. Then, Goldblatt comes in with his impressive creative skills, which build to an intense climax. LaBarbera’s drumming urges everyone on before Plumeri takes it out with a quietly sublime melodic strain. This is definitely the CD’s high point.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Terry Plumeri
  • CD Title: Blue in Green
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: GMMC Records
  • Tracks: Beautiful Love, Blue in Green, Autumn Leaves, Gentle Rain, Dolphin Dance, Corcovado, Footprints, Round Midnight'
  • Musicians: Terry Plumeri (bass), David Goldblatt (piano), Joe LaBarbera (drums)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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