All the Things We Still Can Be

All the Things We Still Can Be

by Jacob VarmusJacob Varmus


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One person who trumpeter Jacob Varmus has mentioned more than once when discussing All the Things We Still Can Be, his first official album as a leader, is Chet Baker. When he was alive, Baker was far from a jazz critics' darling -- many jazz critics of the '50s, '60s and '70s wrongly dismissed Baker and other Cool Schoolers as lightweights -- but Baker's impact has outlasted critics' barbs, and this 2004 date is a prime example of Baker (who died in 1988) influencing someone who is young enough to be his grandson. That is not to say that Varmus spends all of his time going out of his way to emulate Baker; Varmus has other noteworthy influences, ranging from Miles Davis (Baker's primary influence) to Tom Harrell to Art Farmer to Don Cherry. The only time Varmus flat-out emulates Baker is on "Everything Happens to Me," which is one of the standards that Baker loved to play; Varmus, who is very much an instrumentalist, even includes a little Baker-ish singing. But Varmus' own compositions dominate this post-bop-oriented effort, and most of the time, Baker's influence -- although certainly evident -- is no less important than the influence of Davis or Harrell. Further, Varmus generally favors a bigger tone than either Baker or Davis, whose mid-'60s output has had a definite impact on his writing; compositionally, he gets a lot of inspiration from the Davis period that was post-standards but pre-fusion -- the Davis who was no longer playing "Someday My Prince Will Come" and "My Funny Valentine" but had yet to kick off the fusion revolution with In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew. All the Things We Still Can Be is the work of an improviser who, although not groundbreaking or innovative, is his own person -- and while the CD falls short of exceptional, it is a decent, worthwhile demonstration of Varmus' skills as a soloist/composer.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/18/2006
Label: Cd Baby
UPC: 0837101205047
catalogNumber: 5637333441
Rank: 178696

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