Review Alert: Lemonwire

Larry Corban energizes classic songs on “Emergence”

Guitarist Larry Corban presents his fifth recording as a leader. “Emergence” is a mix of styles and tempos. He is joined by the Aperturistic Trio, a group of stellar players with long histories in the genre. Corban is known for delving into the traditions of jazz and for spicing up tribute songs with his own, often electrifying style. “Emergence” was released April 26, 2019.

Corban has recorded with Aperturistic Trio before. Specifically on his fourth CD, “Corban Nation” and two other earlier recordings. “Corban Nation” represented the guitarist and his ensemble members well. The recording made its way to the JazzWeek Charts and remained in the Top 100 for 20 weeks. It peaked at No. 18. Similarly, the recording also peaked at No.4 on the CMJ charts and reaching No. 1 on the RMR Jazz Charts.

About Larry Corban

Corban is a New York City jazz guitarist and composer. The roster of musicians with which Corban has played is lengthy. They include Omer Avital, Avishia Cohen, Buddy Williams, Sylvia Cuenca, Essiet Okon Essiet, Ron Atfif, Ralph Peterson Jr., and others.

Before he became a professional musician and composer, Corban earned a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Ithaca College. In addition, he has studied privately with Pat Martino, Wayne Krantz, Joanne Brackeen and others.

Larry Corban and the Aperturistic Trio and the sound of “Emergence”

There are eight tracks on “Emergence.” The songs are a range of styles that keep listeners not knowing quite what to expect next besides stellar playing. Two songs not to miss on the album are “Sea of Fire” and “You and the Night and Music.”

Aperturistic Trio is comprised of Harvie S. on upright bass; James Weidman on piano; Steve Williams on drums. Special guest for the recording is saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi, who plays tenor on four of the eight tracks.

“Sea of Fire” charms with its running bass opening. The saxophone is light, but pointed. It serves as a guide to the song’s overall vibe. The spry piano comes in, joining both the bass and the lightly crashing drums. The song moves into a lonely, but classic-sounding showcase. When the saxophone reaches what sounds like the zenith of its moment, it returns with more energy instead of fading out. That showcase is followed by the dizzying guitar, and all of a sudden, listeners can hear what the critical acclaim about Corban has been for. The song’s abrupt ending is stylish and contrasts the overlapping energy and rhythm’s that have held listeners rapt.

“You and the Night and the Music” has a moody opening that sounds poised for more. That anticipated “more” comes shortly after the opening. Corban’s playing is light and determined. It sounds at times like an instrument that maybe hasn’t been named yet. The notes are high and rhythmic. But audiences shouldn’t miss the shimmer and crash of the drums, or how the minimalist piano is helping to keep things together. The piano showcase sounds lively and classic. The drums and bass complement each other while the piano shines. Later, when the ensemble takes the volume and energy down a notch or two, the bass has a showcase. It is perfectly rumbling and nimble, the strings seeming to bounce between notes. When the group returns to full sound, the guitar chimes in, and the drums offer a galloping interlude that hasn’t been heard before, and so audiences figure out a showcase is coming. The instrument works its way through perfect exchanges with each other. This beauty holds onto the audience until the song reaches its end in a jazzy mix of guitar, drums and piano.

With a running time of just under an hour, Corban’s “Emergence” is engaging. The energy, the jazzy grooves, the overall mix of the soundscape have to be heard to be appreciated.

Larry Corban energizes classic songs on “Emergence”

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