Nov 4, 2011
“It’s a challenging journey bouncing from one genre to another, but with this quintet record, I really feel like I’ve finally come home.” – Dave Shank.
If you looked at Dave Shank’s jazz resume, you’d think he’d spent the last few decades in limbo.
In fact, the vibes player, who was part of the fusion group Wishful Thinking in the 1980’s, has spent much of his time on more lucrative gigs, including time in the Broadway orchestra pit, soundtrack recording studios and even a guest shot with Steely Dan. But he never went way, and he’s always been honing his jazz chops.
His newest project is a jazz quintet album, Soundproof, on the Rhombus label. Finally given a chance to write and record straight ahead jazz, the new CD, which features bassist John Patitucci, pianist Barry Miles, drummer Terry Silverlight, and saxophone player Mike Migliore , is a hard-swinging affair that recalls the hey day of vibes players like Bobby Hutcherson. The CD was produced by long-time collaborator Tim Weston, and engineered by the late, great Roger Nichols of Steely Dan fame..
I spoke with Shank about his new release, his plans to tour and desire to continue writing and recording jazz. Click here to listen to the interview, including musical selections like:
Dave Shank – “Fair or Foul” from Soundproof. A Variation on the classic “Come Rain or Come Shine”, Dave writes creates a swinging tune that incorporates quotations from Bill Evans’ piano solos on “Come Rain or Come Shine”.
Dave Shank – “A Minor Distraction” from Soundproof. Migliore has a ripping sax solo on this minor key Shank composition.
Wishful Thinking - “Portugal“ from Wishful Thinking. A late eighties fusion band, Wishful Thinking Tim Weston (guitars), Shank (vibes), Tower of Power drummer David Garibaldi, Chris Boardman (keyboards), and Jerry Watts Jr. (bass). This debut album, with liner notes from Walter Becker, hit Radio & Records' Top Ten Jazz chart in February of 1986.
Steely Dan – “Negative Girl” from Two Against Nature. Walter Becker and Donald Fagen have always sought out the best jazz musicians to contribute to their albums. This track from the Grammy winning CD puts Dave in the same category as Wayne Shorter, Phil Woods, Joe Sample, Larry Carlton and many more. On my liner notes, Shank's name is misspelled as "Schenck". Hopefully they get the royalty checks right.