Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

The Dave Shank Quintet: Soundproof

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

If further proof were needed that purism among jazz musicians is a thing of the past, this lineup should seal the argument. Vibraphonist Dave Shank and his colleagues-saxophonist Mike Migliore, pianist Barry Miles, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Terry Silverlight-have worked with everyone from Maynard Ferguson and the Basie Orchestra through Wayne Shorter and Chick Corea to John Scofield, David Sanborn and even Spyro Gyra (to say nothing of Shank’s gigs with Frank Sinatra and pop idols like Luther Vandross and Linda Ronstadt).

What they deliver here, though, is straight-ahead swing, often tautened by astringent harmonies and bop-like rhythmic risk-taking. “Muscular delicacy” might be the appropriate term to describe the feel: There’s plenty of ensemble playing, both unison and improvised, but so unerring is the communication that things never sound cluttered or overly busy. Migliore employs gnarled, George Adams-like flurries on his tenor; on soprano, he avoids both syrup and new-agey preciousness, crafting sharply delineated lines that impel through, over and under the frameworks his compatriots provide. Shank and Miles emphasize their instruments’ dual melodic and rhythmic roles, as does bassist Patitucci, both when soloing and when establishing a rhythmic foundation. Silverlight coaxes as much as he goads or impels; his brushwork (as on the arresting ballad “Darkening”) is simultaneously enveloping and propulsive.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published