A reliably swinging, in-demand jazz bassist who has also logged his share of Brazilian and Latin gigs over the past 20 years, David Finck plays it strictly straightahead on his long overdue debut as a leader, surrounded by such stellar sidemen as vibraphonist Joe Locke, pianist Tom Ranier and veteran drummer (and former Bill Evans sideman) Joe La Barbera. They open with Ranier’s loping “I Know,” a soulful, strutting number that allows Locke to dig deep into his bluesier side on a highly expressive solo. Finck’s engaging jazz waltz “New Valley” is a breezy number right out of the Vince Guaraldi book while the quartet’s inventive 5/4 take on “Nature Boy” puts a new spin on that haunting classic ballad. Guests Jeremy Pelt on trumpet and Bob Sheppard on tenor sax join the core group on a boppish jaunt through Bevan Manson’s uptempo “Four Flags” and also on Finck’s upbeat, Brazilian-flavored “Look at You,” which is underscored by La Barbera’s brisk brushwork and the bassist’s authentic samba groove.
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