David Hardiman’s Sextet – Portrait of David Hardiman – David Hardiman Music, Inc., 74:19 *****:
(David Hardiman – trumpet, Flugelhorn; Willis Kirk – drums; Harley White – bass; Percy Scott – piano; Sonny Lewis – tenor & soprano sax and flute; Don Ramsey – saxophones and flute; Lester Cobb – drums on tracks 1 & 7; Spencer Allen – piano & keyboards)
David Hardiman is a very competent trumpeter and pianist. He is an accomplished composer/arranger. He holds a Master of Music degree as well as a Bachelor of Music Education Degree. He has taught grade school, high school and college. He was educated in Indiana at Butler University and Indiana University. David moved to the bay area, California in 1971. He is highly active in music and has played virtually in most of the major cities in the United States. He has performed in Finland, Holland, France, Spain, Mexico, The Caribbean, and Brazil. In the SF Bay Area he has led a jazz-based dance orchestra called the San Francisco All–Star Big Band. He has accompanied several famous pop stars such as Jackie Wilson, Gladys Knight and The Pips and Nancy Wilson, to name a few.
The opening track, The Soulful Mr. Timmons, starts with about 20 bars of a sort of skipping along carefree piano solo and WHAM! The rest of the sextet joined in and I was “SOLD” on this sextet. A greater group of musicians you couldn’t hope to hear. Each player takes a solo. The next track, Portrait of David Hardiman, gives a good chance to hear David and he is great with a real good call and response between him and Sonny Lewis on saxophone. Santos by the Sea changes up with a bit of a Latin rhythm. By Candlelight features some really good unison playing by David Hardiman on trumpet and Sonny Lewis on sax again moving through to taking some solo time each. It swings nicely. Felicity takes much the same path except in waltz tempo. Now comes the Medley where the sextet breaks up into smaller groups with some players laying out. The songs are Lover Man with Sonny Lewis taking the lead in the melody line backed by piano, bass, keyboard and drums and is very soulful sounding; Black Orpheus with David on muted trumpet backed by keyboard, bass, drums and piano; In A Sentimental Mood features Percy Scott on piano backed by bass, and drums; the medley ends with Yesterdays, and features Harley White on bass with piano. In the Daylight breaks the rhythm up moving into a Latin beat. The album closes with What Do You Say Dr. “J”. It has a sound similar to the jazz crusaders of the past and is very breezy and nice.
Portrait of David Hardiman is a great piece of work in mainstream jazz. It is proof there are so many great musicians out there in the jazz world. The composing and arrangements are excellent. The rhythms change throughout the album and sound quality is very good; a quality presentation. The liner notes are good with a nice presentation of background on each musician.
1. The Soulful Mr. Timmons
2. Portrait of David Hardiman
3. Santos by the Sea
4. By Candle Light
6. Medley: A. Lover Man; B. Black Orpheus; C. In A Sentimental Mood; D. Yesterdays.
7. In the Daylight
9. Vou Livre
10. What Do You Say Dr. ‘J’
— Tim Taylor