On vibraphonist Bernard Sweetney's live release Live from Kupchicks, he goes to the masters of music to provide a strong selection of music. Sweetney uses standards from Hoagy Carmichael, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Ray Brown to provide a CD that features familiar music in a familiar setting. When he performs with bassist John Previtti and drummer Alan Wonneburger, it seems like each song almost sounds the same, even though each song should have some differences in tone. The majority of the CD features these performers, but when he gets guests on a couple of the later tracks on the CD, there seems to be a better feeling to the music. The strongest track is Sweetney's take on Duke Ellington's Take the A Train where he gets help from saxophonist James Roberts, drummer Bush Ellis, pianist Lawrence J. Scott and bassist Phil Miller. Sometimes when artists get into a group of people they are familiar with, they seem to get into a sameness that to me doesn't last long. That is the problem with Live at Kupchicks. Backup people that come from various other areas can bring new life to even the best of the classics. I would have loved to see what would have happened if Sweetney would have used more tracks from the other appearance at Kupchicks. It would have made a more interesting CD release than this one has.
Artist / Group Name:Bernard Sweetney
CD Title:Live at Kupchicks
Genre:Straight-Ahead / Classic
Record Label:Kupchicks Productions
Musicians:Bernard Sweetney (vibes, percussion), John Previtti (bass), Alan Wonneburger (drums)