Tom Beckham: Grillin'




Tom Beckham (vibes)


Rebound (Apria 136127)

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Tom Beckham (vibes),

Chris Cheek (sax), Henry Hey (piano), Matt Clohesy (bass), Ferenc Nemeth (drums)


Composed by Tom Beckham


Recorded: Warren, NJ, November 16, 2007


Rating: 86/100 (learn more)

The album's title, Rebound, refers to the reaction of a mallet after it strikes a vibraphone bar. (You know… that whole Newton's Law thing, "every action has an equal and opposite reaction" stuff.) In this case, Tom Beckham says it has a double meaning and also refers to the bouncing back of ideas that takes place during improvisation.

"Grillin'" is an up-tempo post-bop workout not dissimilar to something you may have heard from Dexter Gordon in the '70s. The Gordon reference is the direct result of saxophonist Chris Cheek's impressive performance and Beckham's arrangement, in which Dexter would have excelled. That is not to say Cheek is alone. All the players have their act together, and this includes the leader. But this music is more about group cohesion and equal opportunity than individual turns. Beckham says as much in his liner notes. After the impressive traditional solo turns, the group plays a wonderful unison section that lets you know just how tight that group cohesion is. This is toe-tapping good music. Fire up that grill, baby!

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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