Some musicians like to keep their tracks simple and others like to garnish them in multiple layers vesseled by frilly harmonic forms. Vibraphonist Tom Beckham bolts his music in both patterns on his latest CD, Rebound. Recorded on November 16, 2007 by Paul Wickliffe at Skyline Pro in Warren, New Jersey, Rebound trumps up the finer points of the vibraphone’s bulbs, the saxophone’s twirls and the sleek piano’s locks manifesting into a whirlwind of sounds from elaborate flourishes like in "Tethered" to the reposing inclines plowed along "In Flight." Produced by Beckham, Rebound takes listeners on a jaunt that covers virtually every warm shade of life.
Beckham may have set parameters in his mind for his music, but when it came time for him and his band to record the material, such limitations were put aside in favor of impulsive activity. Chris Cheek’s saxophone moves with a mind of its own, and pianist Henry Hey cruises at the pace of his own inner rhythm while Beckham comes in with twinkling mallet strikes that possess the gentleness of a fairy and the rapid wrist-flicks of a seamstress embroidering a lavish quilt. It is the interfacing between bassist Matt Clohesy and drummer Ferenc Nemet that pulls the tracks together. The pieces have a heavenly ascent like in "Tiny Star" and a vast constellation of moving figures like in "Grillin’." The soft flouncy sprigs and rolling surf of "Parting The Water" and "World Cup" are groomed into mounds of serene flickers, and Beckham’s solo expressions on "Cee’s And Dee’s" provide a genuine sense of exuberance in the vibraphone’s plates.
Tom Beckham is a musician who plays to a set of ideals which may not always follow conventional or traditional phrasings, but it always creates harmonious blends. His album Rebound is fully stocked in lush vistas and furnishings well suited to casual jazz attire.