The Dave Shank Quintet – Soundproof – Rhombus Records

The Dave Shank Quintet – Soundproof – Rhombus Records – RHO 7102, 56:22 ****: 
(Dave Shank – vibes; Barry Miles – piano; Terry Silverlight – drums; John Patitucci – bass; Mike Migliore – saxophones)
Dave Shank is no newcomer in the music world.  He began his career after military service in Las Vegas.  His formal education is a Bachelor of Arts Degree in theory and composition from the University of Nevada.  His background of artists he has worked many sessions with is Quincy Jones, Mike Post, Don Piestrup and  he has played with acts such as Frank Sinatra, Dionne Warwick, Linda Ronstadt, Bette Midler and others.  He is also a percussionist and performed in many Broadway shows.  In addition he was the vibraphone player for Steely Dan’s album Two Against Nature which won 4 Grammy Awards at the 2000 Grammy’s including Best Album of the year.
Soundproof consists of 10 compositions by Dave Shank.  This album is aimed at the straight ahead jazz sound.  Dave has composed and arranged the music to feature each musician soloing backed by the other artists on each composition.  Dave Shank is a great vibe player using the multi-mallet in each hand technique.
The first track, also the title track and opener of Soundproof follows Dave’s idea of presenting all the musicians.  The piece has a nice determined rhythm and sound to it and is a great start for the album.  The track starts with the piano trio of Barry Miles (p), John Patitucci (b) and Terry Silverlight (d) for the opening joined by Dave Shank and Mike Migliore playing in unison.
I have to admit that I had several favorites but a couple stood out for me.  “At Ease” gave me that familiar pleasant feeling you get driving through great scenery on a sunny day.  “Fair or Foul” was nice with its rhythm changes punctuated by Dave’s Vibes.  The sound gets louder and softer and each artist takes a turn.  I particularly enjoyed Mike on soprano sax playing in unison at times with Dave on vibes.  “Some Nice” is very enjoyable with a bit of swinging and improvisation from all artists.  Barry Miles and Mike Migliore stood out for me on this one.
Soundproof was a very listenable album for me.  The product was excellent in the order of the tunes making the album have a logical sound through out.  The recording quality was excellent.  You could hear each instrument clearly and no one covered up the other.  The liner notes though basic left me with unanswered questions.  However you can go to www.daveshankmusic.com/news for a full explanation of the album.  I would add that if they were to come to the Portland, Oregon area I would be delighted to go listen in person.
TrackList:  1.   Soundproof;  2.   Alla Brevity;  3.   Darkening;  4.   Fair or Foul;  5.   At Ease;  6.   Snoopin’;  7.   Last Resort;  8.   Some Nice;  9.   A Minor Distraction;  10. Miss M
—Tim Taylor

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