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Herb Pomerov and Donna Byrne: Walking On Air

This is a record for mature people who enjoy hearing quality tunes played and sung by experienced jazzmen whose names are not likely to be forgotten by next month. Trumpeter Pomeroy and pianist Dave McKenna are good examples of this, but so also is the less familiar Donna Byrne, one of the best singers of jazz-friendly standards currently on the scene, one who approaches her lyrics with both intelligence and swinging time, and without distorting syllabic emphasis or resorting to stagey histrionics to get her meanings across. Herb’s horn is on the mark throughout, with the dry lyricism and sardonic wit that characterized so much of “Sweets” Edison’s playing behind Billie during the ’50s, while Gray Sergent’s guitar touches what bases McKenna leaves open. Quite obviously, bassist Marshall Wood, who has the good fortune to be Donna’s husband, and drummer Jim Guin keep their treble clef companions as happy as they are themselves. Following a medley of “Doxy” and “It’s A Wonderful World,” we hear “Lullaby In Rhythm,” “Ill Wind,” “Taps Miller,” “Take The A Train,” “Just One Of Those Things,” “No More,” “Summertime,” “Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me,” “Your Red Wagon,” “I Have Dreamed” and “The Intimacy Of The Blues.” Donna’s vocals are heard on seven of the 12 tunes.

Originally Published