Avery Sharpe: Visible Man


Visible Man


Avery Sharpe (bass)


Autumn Moonlight (JKNM 89897)

Buy Track


Avery Sharpe (bass), Onaje Allan Gumbs (piano), Winard Harper (drums).

Composed by Avery Sharpe


Recorded: WGBH Fraser Studio, Brighton, MA, November 8, 2008


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

“Visible Man” has an opening refrain that conjures up Mingus’s “Goodbye Pork-Pie Hat”, without being the slightest bit plagiaristic. Avery Sharpe and his tight trio create a memorable piece of music that waltzes along in an easy, lilting manner. Onaje Allan Gumbs' piano is well suited to this rhythmically based piece that has such an enduring melody. The song, with a hint of Americana and an almost folk-like sensibility, is appealing and should attract other musicians to make use of its deceptively simple theme as a vehicle for further impressions. Gumbs' fine blues-based explorations are succinctly displayed during his solo, which encompasses sensitivity, lyricism and creativity, all with deft economy. Sharpe is a formidable bassist whose tone is full and whose attack is mildly aggressive without being harsh. Winnard creates a rattlesnake-like effect on his snare while Sharpe lays down the melody on his bass to great effect. Sharpe showcases the bass as a lead instrument with confidence and poise without puffed-up bravado. He is capable of rapid-fire pizzicato technique while never losing the waltz-like bottom at the song’s core. “Visible Man” is a fine example of the classic formation of piano, bass and drums at its best.

Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello


Comments are closed.