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Inner Circle

Self produced






  1. On The Dock

  2. Garden Of Eden

  3. Same As It Ever Was

  4. Inner Circle

  5. I Left It Bayou

  6. Friedrichshain

  7. Softly As In A Morning Sunrise

    Zach Larmer - Guitar

    Aldo Salvent - Tenor Saxophone (tracks 3, 4)

    John Daversa - Trumpet, EVI (tracks 1, 4)

    Brian Lynch - Trumpet (track 6)

    Tal Cohen - Keyboards

    Juan Pablo Diaz - Bass (tracks 2, 3, 5, 6)

    Jermaine Walden - Bass (tracks 1, 4, 7)

    Rodolfo Zuniga - Drums (tracks 3, 5, 6)

    David Chiverton - Drums (tracks 1, 2, 4, 7)

    The award-winning, Miami-based, Zach Larmer is a guitarist, composer and educator, one who reflects diverse musical influences in his work. This is his debut album as a leader and there is a pleasing consistency about it, with never a dull moment and quite a few inspired ones. The core musicians of the group are Larmer and Tal Cohen who plays keyboards with Jual Pablo Diaz/Jermaine Walden and David Chiverton/Rodolpho Zuniga sharing duties on bass and drums respectively. In addition, Aldo Salvent guests on a couple of tracks on tenor sax and John Daversa chips in on trumpet and EVI (Electronic valve instrument) twice. The immaculate Brian Lynch can be heard on trumpet on one track only. Five of the seven tunes are composed by Larmer. Diaz contributes the strikingFriedrichshain and there is also a familiar standard, Softly As In A Morning Sunrise.

    There is some splendid jazz on offer here, but I was particularly taken by the aforementioned Friedrichshain. Perhaps I should mention that the title refers to a district of East Berlin which was part of the old GDR and even now contains the oldest surviving stretch of the Berlin Wall. Sounds grim, yet I believe that today the area is regarded as trendy. Be that as it may, this is a gorgeous piece. Brian Lynch who has graced the US jazz scene since at least the early '80's plays his trumpet with passion and poise, feeling and finesse. Cohen excels on keyboards and Larmer takes up the theme to refreshing effect. Impressive. Another winner is the nostalgic ballad, Same As It Ever Was. This features Aldo Salvent's elegant tone on saxophone as well as Larmer's clear and moving exploration of the tune, complemented by the empathetic Zuniga on drums and Cohen's keyboards in piano mode. I Left It Bayou must refer to New Orleans or, at the least, Louisiana. If so, it is a fitting tribute which maintains interest and momentum throughout, both punchy and rhythmic. Larmer has an extended solo in which he puts on the style with accomplished ease. The title track, Inner Circle, is notable for his imaginative runs as well as providing a contrasting pace for Salvent as compared with his other outing.On The Dock is an enjoyable breeze of a number. Garden Of Eden makes you wish there was literally a place so enticing. At different times during the disc, echoes of jazz guitar giants can be heard in Larmer's multi-faceted playing. On the final track, Softly As In A Morning Sunrise, the memory most triggered was that of a sublime stylist, Barney Kessel. A special word of praise, too, for drummer David Chiverton whose playing is metronomic where required, exploding at times into a more animated vein.

    Zach Larmer is obviously a musician to watch and this is a wide-ranging and very accessible album. It is an example of what talented musicians at the top of their game can produce, to the satisfaction of the listener.

    James Poore

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