Sterling Place All-Stars
The Sterling Place All-Stars are veteran players who have at one time or another lived on the same block in Brooklyn, NY. Alto/soprano saxophonist Vincent Herring is an esteemed musician who's racked up 10 albums as leader and more than 70 as sideman. Pianist Ronnie Mathews has accompanied an array of artists, including Dexter Gordon and T.S. Monk. Drummer Carl Allen has backed numerous jazz luminaries, starred in Blakey tribute bands and led his own groups. The youngest member of the group, bassist Richie Goods, shows plenty of promise. These skillful musicians continually demonstrate affinity for unity and creativity, whether playing in a bop mode, waxing eloquent with a fresh, nine-minute take on Duke Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood," or delivering Mathews' hard-driving, adventurous original "Salima's Dance." The CDs' seven tracks, split between chestnuts and group originals, are rhythmically challenging and diverse affairs that allow Herring and Mathews free reign for some fine soloing.