AMG EXPERT REVIEW by David Nathan:
Eldad Tarmu is one of a small but active clutch of younger players carving out a reputation on the vibraphone. Included in this are Mike Freeman and Gerry Grosz. Tarmu composed all the pieces on this his second album as a leader. However few, if any, will gain a special place in the annals of jazz compositions. Instead, they are closer to head arrangements designed to accentuate Tarmu's exceedingly clean, crisp vibes and the strengths of soloists appearing on a particular track. "Planet Blue".rm (510k) is the vehicle for some laid back, lyrical trumpet by Josh Aguillar. M-base jazz flutist Derrick Davis gets the call on "Yafo".rm (419k). Ernie Watts shows up for two tracks. On "The Nooze".rm (800k) he dazzles on tenor with a greased lightening solo while on "Her Story" .rm (337k), he shows off that almost spiritual sound he gets from the alto. There's very passionate tenor by Ryan Woodward on "Deep Inside The Drum" mp3 (1.7MB). And so it goes, each track kicking off with Tarmu's vibes, then the ensemble coming in for a few measures followed by more vibes together with solos from other members of the group. One common thread among virtually all of the cuts is that they swing. Tarmu's arrangements reveal an excellent feel for making the music move.
Swinging arrangements are unless the players are capable of executing them. Tarmu has chosen his associates for this session wisely. Especially notable is a rhythm section led by pianist Cengiz Yaltkaya whose comping and soloing are critical to the success of the session. While the bulk of the playing is fiery and aggressive, there is a break in the fast action with the lovely waltz like "Float above the Rain". Recommended. - Dave Nathan