Sharel Cassity: Lover Man
Sharel Cassity (alto sax)
Just For You (DW Records - DW01-0001)
Composed by Roger Ramirez.
Recorded: Park West Studios, Brooklyn, New York, March 19, 2008
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
My mind (ears too!) is always wide-open when it comes to new music. That's makes it all the more frustrating and embarrassing when I have the “Uh oh...” reaction upon seeing a jazz record with a nicely done photo of the female leader. It's years of those tricky smooth jazz cover shots that have done it to me. The first track kicks in and I'm just waiting for that drum machine.
None of this is Sharel Cassity's fault. In fact, I almost skipped mentioning the issue because it felt like an indirect slight on her talents: which are many. While her fairly straight reading of “Lover Man” doesn't break any knew ground, it does put on display her ability to breath emotion into a piece. Sure, this classic does carry with it its own romantic qualities, but they can easily be rendered flat in the wrong hands. Not so here. Cassity effortlessly blends twisty solo passage with slower, more bluesy lines. Combine this with the stellar work of pianist Adam Birnbaum and you have a satisfying and smoky listen.
...and no drum machines!
Reviewer: Mark Saleski
Tags: lover man