Classically trained violinist Antoine Silverman's first CD as a leader focuses on jazz's "melancholy moments" with tunes like the elegiac "In a Sentimental Mood," a moody "You've Changed," a pensive "Bewitched" and Silverman's own "Big Stoop"-a lazy dialogue between violin and guitar-exploring some of the disc's "blue moods." Like fellow violinist Regina Carter, it was seeing Stephane Grappelli in concert that swung Silverman over to jazz and it's the suave Grappelli's influence that is present on each of the CD's 12 tracks. But Silverman's musical career also includes Broadway shows (he's on the original cast recording of The Green Bird), bluegrass, country (two CDs with Garth Brooks), gospel and tours with Sinead O'Connor (among others).
In fact, it was country music that brought him to Nashville and eventually the Hillsboro label. His sidemen not only have solid academic credentials but equally diverse musical backgrounds as well. Both pianist Stefan Karlson and drummer Chris Brown are North Texas State University alumni with guitarist Pat Bergeson (William Patterson U.), and bassist Roger Spencer (Indiana State U.) rounding out the group whose post-grad gigs include working with Lyle Lovett (Bergeson), Maynard Ferguson (Brown), Rufus Reid (Karlson) and Pete Christlieb (Spencer).
Contrasting with the disc's title are the gloriously uptempo "I'll Remember April," with solid solos by Silverman, Bergeson and Karlson, and "Beautiful Love" with the front line again sailing along. Another change of pace finds both Duke Jordan's "Jordu" and Horace Silver's "Nica's Dream" getting Latinized while Silverman's attractively-themed "Kika" explores 3/4. "Bee's Bounce," another Silverman original, fits nicely into the bebop canon. I'm pleased to add this remarkable CD to my collection of jazz violinists and recommend that you do, too.