Thursday, January 9, 2014

Project THEM

Mark Sherman and Bob Franceschini
What a magic to see the music grow night after night as the role playing  becomes more and more comfortable each show.(Quote: Mark Sherman) 

Hans Koert

Thirty-five years ago it was a dream for both vibraphonist Mark Sherman and tenor saxophonist Bob Franceschini to found their own band …  Bob Franceschini and I went to the high School of Music and Art in NYC together, and had great aspirations as young musicians to have a “band”, Mark explains in the liner notes of their joint recording, Project THEM, which was released a few months ago.  They reassembled for this project and hit the road playing all over Europe. The music grew and evolved night after night, roles and grooves solidifying, Mark says, Each concert was an act of exploration. Project THEM captures the magic of the band in full fight, honed on the fly from sets on the road.

THEM Project; f.l.t.r.: Mark Sherman, Adam Nussbaum, Bob Franceschini and Martin Gjakonovski ( photo: THEM project)

They labeled it as ...... Project THEM; led by its originators Bob Franceschini and Mark Sherman features Mitchel Forman and the Italian piano player Paolo di Sabatino at the keys – both on half of the tracks; the former also playing the Hammond B3 Organ - the Mazedonian bass player Martin Gjakonowski and Adam Nussbaum on drums. 

A few years ago Mark Sherman surprised with his album The L.A.  Sessions, featuring  Mark Sherman  at the vibes, Bill Cunliffe (Hammond B3 Organ), John Chiodini (guitar) and Charles Ruggiero ( drums).  

Mark Sherman ( promo picture Mark Sherman)

  • Mark Sherman is known as a sought after accompanists, who toured with vocalists like Liza Minelli, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis jr., Jon Hendricks, Mel Tormé and Charles Aznavour. He is also active in classical music and teaches as a professor in jazz studies at the Juilliard School of Music and theNew Jersey City University. (Source: Mark Sherman: L.A. Sessions - Hans Koert)  

Adam Nussbaum is a sought after drummer, who recently took part at the Matthew Finck – Jonathan ball project, of which an album entitled It’s Not That Far has been released. 

  • Drummer Adam Nussbaum, a percussionist, who started to play the piano, the bass and alto saxophone before he took the drum sticks. He played with John Scofield, David Liebman, Lee Konitz, Michael Brecker  and Conrad Herwig, just to list some – Adam .... remains one of the most sought-after drummers on the cutting edge of the music, theRough Guide to Jazz reads ..... His list of recordings, in which he participated seems to be even more impressive than Anderson’s discography. (Source: Matthew Finck-Jonathan Ball: It's Not That Far - Hans Koert)    
( promo picture Mark Sherman)

Bob Franceschini started his career in the 1980s as a member of bands like the Jens Wendelboe’s New York Big Band and since the 2000s he's performed with Mike Stern and the Yellowjackets

Listen to the band performing at the Kitano jazz club in NYC 

Project THEM contains 10 tracks, all but one own compositions. I liked Ma Bo’s Waltz, a Paolo di Sabatino composition with Bob on flute  and  Mark Sherman at the vibes. 

Angular Blues, the final track, a Mark Sherman composition, belongs to my favorites too, as it has a great vibes solo and Minor Turns, with a great tenor solo of the composer ( Bob Franceschini) and Michel Forman on Hammond B3 Organ, whose instrument fits well in the band in these great tracks.  

Thanks Bob and Mark for this great project.

Hans Koert
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In fact in started all as a dream .... Two students, vibe player Mark Sherman and saxophonist Bob Franceschini at the High School Of Music and Art in New York City dreamt about their own band ...... Thirty five years  later their dream came true .... The  Mark Sherman - Bob Franceschini quintet released its debut album entitled THEM Project ....... 

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