Mark Sherman: The Motive Series

Mark Sherman is a dedicated jazzoid who simply wants to swing, or paint pretty pictures. He does both on his new CD The Motive Series (CAP). As he explains, he finds it easier to “groove on one motive or rhythmic idea.” “Motive #1” is a simple interval of a fifth. The remaining tunes’ structures are not that easy to detect, but the CD is still an excellent showcase for a straightahead, bop-oriented mallet meister who is blessed with both taste and technique. The same can be said for the rhythm section of pianist Allen Farnham, bassist Phil Palombi and drummer Tim Horner.

As a bonus, tenor man Michael Brecker graces two tracks: “Judaican,” written by Sherman as a tribute to Kenny Kirkland, and a pretty ballad, “Always Reaching.” All motives/tunes are by Sherman except for the smoothest track, “Old Folks,” and the swingingest, “Nature Boy.”