Jazz trombonist/composer Erick Storckman is the kind of artist who can fall too easily between the cracks in a 21st century musical landscape divided up between Wynton Marsalis-school classicists and unrelentingly avant-garde free jazzers. SCRAPBOOK stands as proof that contemporary jazz composition is far from a lost art. Storckman is equally adept at penning a spare, elegant ballad ("The Golden Boy"), a churning, bluesy burner ("Purify"), or a hard-bopper ("This Thing Called Madness"). It doesn't hurt that Storckman surrounds himself with a stellar group of New York jazzers.
Trumpeter Rob Henke's light-hearted fluidity, saxman Marty Fogel's marriage of intellect and burning passion, and drummer Barbara Allen's commitment to swinging with smarts all aid Storckman's cause greatly. His ace in the hole is his ability as a singer and lyricist, as displayed on the album's two vocal tunes, most effectively on the poignant ballad "Ghosts." SCRAPBOOK provides a candid snapshot of the artist in motion, standing still just long enough for you to catch a glimpse of his muse at work.