Mack Avenue Records
silver-lined, but mostly light and imperturbably unencumbered. It sometimes drifts lazily (notably on a gentle, tender “There Are Such Things” and a soft-swinging “There’s a Small Hotel”), but is just as often propelled with gustier verve, as on Monk and Hendricks’ spirited “Monk’s Dream,” the pop-oriented “Heartbeat” and a thunderous, scat-lined “By the River St. Marie” worthy of Louis Prima.
Occasionally, though, Vasandani allows style to overshadow substance. The unusual urgency of his “Once in a While” manages, for example, to obscure the wistful sense of loss at the song’s core. Likewise, his closing “Travelin’ Light” sounds more like a bouncy hymn to freedom than a bruised reflection on post-desertion heartbreak.