Marvin Stamm, a fine hard bop trumpeter with an appealing tone of his own, has been a valuable asset to many important big bands (including Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, George Gruntz, Louie Bellson, and Maria Schneider), worked for years in the studios of New York, and since 1987 has primarily played jazz. On this release, Stamm plays with a quartet also including pianist Stefan Karlsson, bassist Tom Warrington, and drummer Eliot Zigmund. The music is essentially modern hard bop. Stamm is at his best on a medium-tempo version of "But Not for Me" (building up his solo to some blistering double-time runs), a slow heartfelt "The Very Thought of You," and on two of his pieces which are based on common chord changes: "A Lick or Two" ("Indiana") and "A Rosy Tone" ("In a Mellotone"). The other originals (two by Karlsson and one apiece from Lars Jansson and Dennis Dotson) are less interesting melody-wise although they offer stimulating chord changes for the soloists. Stefan Karlsson is a swinging modern mainstream player who at times recalls early Herbie Hancock and Bill Evans, while Tom Warrington and Eliot Zigmund (still best known for his association with Evans) are excellent in support. Long underrated despite his obvious abilities, Marvin Stamm is heard in prime form on this easily recommended CD.
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