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Vincent Gardner: The Good Book—Chapter One

Trombonist Vincent Gardner pays homage to a couple of his forebears with discerning taste on The Good Book-Chapter One, in this case honoring the compositional efforts of Frank Foster, one of his employers, and Horace Silver, who hired Gardner’s father, trumpeter Burgess, in the ’80s. Five of the CD’s eight tracks feature Foster tunes, including his widely known “Shiny Stockings,” and the remainder are linked to Silver, highlighting his classics, “The African Queen” and “Que Pasa?”

While the music is fairly standard fare with little out of the ordinary, the frontline playing by Gardner, tenor and soprano saxophonist Walter Blanding and pianist Marc Cary is first-rate. Rounding out the unobtrusive support are bassist Greg Williams and drummer Quincy Davis. Some may see a link to Wynton Marsalis because both Gardner and Blanding are part of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, but the easygoing nature of this recording should dispel those thoughts in short order. This quintet’s best work is found on the three tracks tied to Silver, the aforementioned pair, plus the Joe Henderson tune, “Mo’ Joe.” Standing out among the Foster works are the opening “Love Handles” and “Shiny Stockings.”

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