The guitar trio sound takes on new elements in Steve Herberman's Action: Reaction.
Herberman plays a 7-string guitar. The extra two strings extend his range on the instrument. As he says, this "... improves the tone, and allows me to play chords above the melody line."
With this, he uses the fingers of his right hand instead of a pick. The sound here melds flawlessly with group members, Drew Gress, bass, and Mark Ferber, drums. Standing out is the interplay between the three, with each having ample opportunity to solo. It all comes together pleasantly, often giving this listener the feeling of floating along with the sound.
This is the second CD for Herberman. Thought Lines
, his debut CD was released in 2001. Based in Washington DC, he is also a professor at Townson University.
Standing out among Herberman's nine original songs recorded is the cerebral, meditative "Negev Journey" with drummer Ferber contributing a Middle Eastern flavor. Jim Hall's influence on Herberman is obvious here.
"Shoutin’ Down" is just the opposite with a light and airy feel. It definitely swings, with drummer Ferber furiously capping the tune.
Probably the loveliest is "Halcyon Air," where, after a soft intro by Herberman, bassist Gress comes in for a thoughtful, melancholic solo. For a delightful contrast, listen to the bluesy conversation between the three in "Worry Not."
"Snap!" does just that, Herberman assertively pushing the pace with Ferber’s drums popping in the background. No snap judgement--this is a fine trio release in the tradition of Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, et al.