All Too Real
To say that altoist Vincent Herring sometimes evokes the spirit of Cannonball Adderley is to take nothing away from his own individuality-any more than recognizing a Charlie Parker influence diminishes one's respect for Sonny Stitt. Far from being anybody's clone, Herring has developed a personal style out of various sources, including, it seems to these ears, Jackie McLean. But mentioning those two giants of the alto does suggest the idiom in which he works. And sure enough, Herring's latest album, All Too Real (HighNote), once again demonstrates his firm command of the hard-bop language. With an excellent rhythm section of pianist Anthony Wonsey, bassist Richie Goods and drummer E. J. Strickland, and the assistance on three tracks of the bright young trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, Herring offers a stimulating program that includes some hard-bop-style up-tunes, a gentle waltz and an uptempo Latin number. Highlights include a masterful romp on "Love for Sale," a tune that Adderley made his own early on. A change of pace is afforded by vocalist Jill Seifers' lovely and affecting rendition of Herring's own "I'll Sing You a Lullaby," which also highlights the leader's meditative soprano.