Avery Sharpe: Boston Baked Beans
Boston Baked Beans
Avery Sharpe (bass)
Autumn Moonlight (JKNM AS89897)
Composed by Avery Sharpe.
Recorded: Brighton, Massachusetts, November 2008
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Did you ever notice that lots of times when a bass player puts out an album, he is all gung-ho to show you how damned versatile the bass can be? I am all for breaking tradition. But there are really only a handful of bassists who can justify using the bass as a lead melodic instrument every time out on every song. Avery Sharpe may be one of them. But there is something to be said for a bassist comfortable enough in his own skin to not show off or even overreach on his own album. Make no mistake, Sharpe showcases his fantastic playing just fine on Autumn Moonlight. His impeccable timekeeping is interrupted only to provide thoughtful solos delivered with impressive technique. But Sharpe is part of a piano trio here and makes sure that pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs is the melodic center.
"Boston Baked Beans" is a fun jazz blues structured à la "Killer Joe." The sing-songy melody gives way to a relaxed swing. Sharpe's walking bass and Winard Harper's drums carry Gumbs along. Sharpe takes an impressive solo, and Harper also takes a short drum break. Sharpe good-humoredly offers a blues-rap of sorts to mention regional highlights that will make Bostonians smile. "Boston Baked Beans" fades out but not before you have been thoroughly entertained by a piano trio that focuses on being just that no matter who leads the session.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky