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Nick Vayenas: Some Other Time

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Some Other Time often feels like the work of two different artists. Of its eight tracks, four-the odd-numbered ones-are Vayenas originals, all instrumental works featuring his masterful trombone (and sometimes trumpet) and most of them uptempo funky affairs that find the leader and his crew toying with rhythm giddily and with great skill. The other four tracks are standards-one each by Michel Legrand, Leonard Bernstein (the title track), Cole Porter and Oscar Levant-each a ballad sung in a hushed, easygoing Chet Baker-like croon by Vayenas.

The mood shifts back and forth with each new tune, and were it not such an enjoyable ride those shifts might be jarring. His chosen players, in particular guitarist Doug Wamble and drummer Rudy Royston, are always right there with him, diving deep into the groove on the instrumental jams and accenting the vocal numbers with effortless élan.

Originally Published