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Mehari, Hermon: Bleu

Twenty-nine year old musician Hermon Mehari has been a member of the band Diverse and acted as a sideman for the last few years so the time was right to release his first album as a band leader. The expert trumpeter has gathered some outstanding musicians including Logan Richardson (alto saxophone), Aaron Parks (piano, keyboards), Peter Schlamb (vibraphone), Rick Rosato (bass) and Ryan J. Lee (drums).

The album is titled Bleu and the band delivers in a big way. The musicianship is uncompromisingly professional in every aspect and the melodies are outstanding throughout. These guys groove like a well-oiled machine; it's like they have been playing together for many years. Besides a good helping of modern jazz with the occasional nod to the past, covers of Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" and "I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face", taken from the 1956 musical My Fair Lady, immediately spring to mind. The trumpet melodies are outstanding on both tunes and on the Coltrane piece Mehari really lets his trumpet shine with an outstanding solo. Schlamb's vibe work also deserves special mention with his gritty tone revved up through huge slabs of reverb. Other highlights include the album opening "Tatra" with trumpet front and center as well as that distorted electronic sound coming through in the song's latter half. It really brings a modern element to the band's sound. On "Eleven Thirteen" the vibe is more mellow with the drum work more understated but no less impressive. The piano and trumpet solos are excellent.

Bleu mixes interesting electronics, the vibes and Rhodes in particular, with classic jazz making a modern musical statement that is as infectious as any jazz album I have heard this year.

Track Listing:
1. Tatra (6:22)
2. Eleven Thirteen (Une Nuit Noire) (7:42)
3. Don't Ya Think (Interlude) ((0 :51)
4. Moment's Notice (5 :55)
5. Awakening (4 :42)
6. Cold (3 :50)
7. Sunset Park (5 :31)
8. Our Journey Revisited (4 :28)
9. I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face (4 :39)
10. We Love (5:13)

Added: May 7th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1292
Language: english

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