On the Brink

On the Brink

by Five Play
     
 
Drummer Sherrie Maricle from the Diva Big Band takes four of her bandmates to form this all female quintet of mainstream jazz players. Karolina Strassmayer and Laura Dreyer both play alto sax and flute, Canadian pianist Lorraine Desmarais and Australian acoustic bassist Nicki Parrott help Maricle in the rhythm section. Though the woodwind players are quite lyrical,

Overview

Drummer Sherrie Maricle from the Diva Big Band takes four of her bandmates to form this all female quintet of mainstream jazz players. Karolina Strassmayer and Laura Dreyer both play alto sax and flute, Canadian pianist Lorraine Desmarais and Australian acoustic bassist Nicki Parrott help Maricle in the rhythm section. Though the woodwind players are quite lyrical, playing in unison most of the time, it's the sparkling bottom end tones and witty asides of Parrott and the exquisite pianistics of Desmarias that keep the music flowing. The bandmembers wrote none of the 13 selections, but there are homages to the Al Cohn-Zoot Sims tenor tandem, Frank Sinatra, many American popular songwriters, and contemporary jazzmen Jerry Bergonzi and John Scofield, with arrangements by John McNeil. At their best in uptempo hard swinging modes, Strassmayer and Dreyer frequently sound like twin Phil Woods bop towers, for instance the furious "I'll Get By," the outstanding Bergonzi written-up-and-gone title track, the Latin-ish "Scatterbrain," a luscious take on Kenny Dorham's easy swinging "Shifting Down," and the waltzy 6/8 version of the standard "Like Someone in Love." Two flutes appear on the sleepwalk slow "Someone Nice Like You." Alto and flute contrast on the bossa "How Insensitive" and a Sinatra medley of "I'm a Fool to Want You/Wee Small Hours/This Love of Mine." Desmarais' glistening light shines on her delicate features for a bluesy "I've Got the World on a String," where Parrott tears up a solo and states the melody line with the others laying out. The pianist is also particularly strong at improvising on the changes of "On the Brink," her solo is positively captivating, setting up Maricle's drum breaks quite well. Though a steady timekeeper, the drummer does get to punch in with traded fours, solo bars and phrases, but gives the spotlight to her bandmates for the majority of this recording. On Scofield's "Some Nerve" given a too brief 2:28, Maricle plays the N.O. shuffle cum calypso rhythm to perfection and delight. "Momma Flossie" is the Cohn-Sims flagwaver, and a perfect example of what happens throughout, that Strassmayer and Dreyer are reluctant to step on each other's toes and really wail. It's also unfortunate that the producers have not seen fit to identify which solos are Strassmayer's or Dreyer's. This lack of variation and sameness in that regard renders their playing relatively uninteresting; they're very fine musicians, but not distinct. Hopefully they'll get another shot to mix it up a bit.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/12/1999
Label:
Arbors Records
UPC:
0780941121827
catalogNumber:
19218
Rank:
265825

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Five Play   Primary Artist
Sherrie Maricle   Drums,Leader
Lorraine Desmarais   Piano
Laura Dreyer   Flute,Alto Saxophone
Nicki Parrott   Bass
Karolina Strassmayer   Flute,Alto Saxophone

Technical Credits

John McNeil   Arranger
Jim Czak   Engineer
Norman Gimbel   Composer
Stanley Kay   Producer
Mat Domber   Executive Producer
Rachel Domber   Executive Producer
Jean Bach   Liner Notes
Kay Stanley   Producer,Liner Notes
Robert McClintock   Cover Design
Bill Moss   Engineer

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