Herb Pomeroy

Walking on Air

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Although she is listed as co-leader for this CD, singer Donna Byrne is only on seven of the 12 selections. She sounds fine, although her cabaret-type ballad treatment of "I Have Dreamed" is a bit outside of jazz. While Byrne is at her best on "Lullaby In Rhythm" and "Ill Wind," the release is most noteworthy for the playing of Herb Pomeroy. The trumpeter can be heard playing with Charlie Parker on some live performances in 1954 released elsewhere, but Pomeroy's 40-year career as a major educator at Berklee resulted in his being underdocumented on record. Since his retirement from teaching, the trumpeter's playing profile has been raised. Sounding like a mix between Jack Sheldon and Chet Baker, Pomeroy is often muted on a set of standards, displaying some understated power and creative ideas within the worlds of bop and swing. The rhythm section (featuring typically excellent solos from pianist Dave McKenna and guitarist Gray Sargent) clearly inspired both Pomeroy and Byrne. Some of the instrumental highlights include "Taps Miller," a slower-than-usual "Take the 'A' Train," and "The Intimacy of the Blues."

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