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January/February 1998

John Sheridan and His Dream Band
Something Tells Me
Arbors Records

This tribute to Harry Warren and Richard Whiting features superb, easy-going classic jazz and Swing Era-style arrangements by the leader, a pianist affiliated with the Jim Cullum Jazz Band in San Antonio. You may detect similarities to Bob Crosby's Bobcats, the John Kirby Sextet and the writing of Al Cohn. Sheridan employs an ensemble composed of brassmen Randy Reinhart and Dan Barrett, reedmen Brian Ogilvie and Ron Hockett, guitarist Reuben Ristrom, bassist Bob Haggart and drummer Jeff Hamilton (not the Jeff Hamilton who played with Woody Herman and Ray Brown).

The bouncy title tune, a Warren composition, gets things started with infectious solos all around, especially those by Barrett (on trombone) and Ogilvie (recalling, on tenor, labelmate Rick Fay). The most unusual song is Whiting's "Ride, Tenderfoot, Ride," an occasion for Sheridan to incorporate his own boogie-woogie piano, trombone trade-offs by Reinhart and Barrett and Haggart's whistling. The brassmen switch to trumpet and cornet, respectively, on Warren's "September in the Rain." Sheridan likes duets such as these, as well as solo instrument features and the full ensemble-a pleasing mix of tunes, players and charts.

Originally published in January/February 1998
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