Charlie Shoemake


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Vibraphonist Charlie Shoemake made many fine recordings during the 1970s and 1980s that have deserved wider recognition. This 1979 Muse release, with Kenny Barron, Cecil McBee, Al Foster, and tenor saxophonist Dave Schnitter (who seems to have all but disappeared from the recording business), marked his recording debut as a leader; it's a lively session with a wide variety of material. The brisk take of Jobim's "This Happy Madness" is highlighted by the leader's inventive solo, though some of the contrived song quotes by Schnitter are occasionally distracting. The group launches into high gear for Shoemake's twisting miniature, "Sunstroke." The waltzing "You'll Love New York" was originally written for George Shearing by Joe Emley, but it has some of the most adventurous solos of the session. Shoemake's lush treatment of "We'll Be Together Again" provides a very satisfying close. Long out of print and unlikely to reappear on CD, this LP is worth searching for.

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