Introducing The Verge is a stirring mix of days gone by, a taste of today and sounds still to come (or at least be considered in the mainstream fabric). The trio effortlessly merges the jazz harmonic and melodic language with sounds of World, Pop and Rock. The Verge is comprised of: Jon Hanser: keys, voice, trumpet, compositions; Kenny Shanker: saxophone, keys, voice; Brian Fishler: drums, percussion, voices. The trio’s debut release, Introducing The Verge, is a nice mix of both vocal and instrumental presentations, giving The Verge incredible cross over potential. The material ranges from Miles Davis classic “Joshua” and Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun,” to the Britney Spears 2011 hit “I Wanna Go.” The sounds on the CD are contemporary, yet familiar, acoustic and electric, but always musical. The vocals are precise; the covers are harmonized smartly. Hanser's original penned selections are outstanding, refreshingly smart, melodic and the group performs them flawlessly.
The increasingly popular reworking of Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" is taken to a new level of expression with the trio’s playing and Hanser’s crafty vocal interpretations. Hanser’s cadenza style piano work starts the selection off and leads to first verse of the melody with well-placed piano hits and bass fills. The chorus finds Brian Fishler establishing a Latin pocket, with guest Danny Conga adding percussion. Saxophonist, Kenny Shanker takes a great ride through the form followed by Hanser delivering some nice vocal ornaments and a spot on trumpet solo.
"Above and Beyond" features a guest appearance from Richard Bona; with Shanker again displaying his total command of his instrument. As with all the material on the CD, Hanser has crafted a tune that is melodic and develops in a very logical manner. The selection strikes an enjoyable balance of improvisations, feel changes and written material.
Tracks: 3; Black Hole Sun; I Wanna Go; Ariel; Dead of Night; Above and Beyond; It's Over; Break Your Heart; Send Her To Me; Joshua; Back to the Beginning; Ants Marching.
Personnel: Jon Hanser: keys, voice, trumpet, compositions, Kenny Shanker: saxophone, keys, voice (piano solo 3), Brian Fishler: drums, percussion, voices.
Special Guests: Richard Bona; bass (6), Andrea Valentini: drums (5), Danny Conga: percussion.
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