Review Alert: The Jazz Word

Larry Corban, Emergence

by Sylvannia Garutch

Larry Corban is an active New York guitarist who has released four previous albums, two of which are collaborations with the Aperturistic Trio (pianist James Weidman, bassist Harvie S, drummer Steve Williams). Once again, the dynamic line up is back together again on Corban’s latest recording Emergence.  The core group is augmented by tenor saxman Jerry Bergonzi, who lends his immense talents on four tunes.

Blazing from the start with “Sea of Fire” the song ignites with Harvie S’ rich driving bass line setting up the medium up-tempo swing. The Aperturistic Trio soon kicks in and the post-bop melody ensues. The trio’s swing is enveloped with warmth, it is relaxed with a big pocket. Corban and Bergonzi play the melody, which is motif based and moves through the various chordal colors. Weidman’s solo is a celebration of single note lines and colorful voicing. Bergonzi takes the reigns next, his tone is big and commands attention. His articulations are always just as exciting as his harmonic textures. Corban’s solo is a fury of notes and sweeps. Taking the triplet to double time and playing groups of sixes is a common idea he uses, to good effect.

“Table Steaks” is a relaxed swing number with a straight-ahead styled melody. After the head, Corban drives us through the chords with more speedy licks and sweeps. He is certainly on to something here, the evolution of fusion, neoclassical metal and post-bop guitar. Corban could very well be starting a new branch on the tree of jazz guitar, neoclassical post-bop guitar.  Bergonzi picks up where Corban ends and effortlessly spins out a swinging solo of style and flurries. All the while, The Aperturistic Trio is laying down the hippest swing possible. Weidman closes the solos with a joyous sound from the piano. Corban’s head is in the tradition and provides the perfect launching sounds for this amazing group of musicians.

Corban has put forth another worthy listen.  Filled with noteworthy original compositions and bodacious soloing by all.  Emergence takes Corban’s discography a step further, cementing this fine guitarist as one to continue to watch.  Highly recommended.


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