Tom Beckham: Suspicions

Vibist Tom Beckham is a recent addition to the Fresh Sound New Talent stable, and his debut session, Suspicions, delivers a solid dose of clear-eyed hard bop. Joined by a superb trio of fellow Berklee chums and Fresh Sound regulars-saxophonist Chris Cheek, bassist Reid Anderson and drummer George Schuller-Beckham’s warmly melodic writing is well served by his middle-of-the-road approach, one situated between the slow-burn soul of Milt Jackson and the pianism of Gary Burton, one of his Berklee profs. The rhythm section deserves special attention, masterfully sculpting crisp grooves that caress the airiness of the vibes.