Pit of Fashion
Acoustic bassist-composer Peter Barshay, 50, who has performed with such players as Milt Jackson, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Joe Henderson and Joe Lovano, makes his debut as a leader with Pit of Fashion. Barshay provides the underpinnings, of course, and does the requisite solo on "Introductions," but it's obvious he wants to showcase his compositions and his talented supporting cast: drummer Steve Smith, pianist Billy Childs, guitarist Mike Stern, reedist Bob Sheppard, guitarist Ray Obiedo and keyboardist Tom Coster. Barshay throws out some reggae, funk and funk-fusion in a strong outing that confirms his status as a top-flight bassist.
Highlights are tasty and aplenty, including a contemporary-jazz take on Victor Feldman's "Joshua," with Patches Stewart on muted trumpet; the Latin-flavored "Please Recall," with Sheppard's understated tenor; and Cole Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love?" which features Barshay's plucked wah-wah bass vibrating throughout.