BOB LARK - FIRST STEPS
Bob Lark has been inspiring young musicians for years as director ofthe DePaul
University Jazz Ensemble. Now, with his debut recording, "First Steps", he will inspire
jazz lovers citywide. Sitting in with Lark on the date is Bob Mintzer,the much-acclaimed
saxophonist from the Yellow jackets. Lark is also joined by Paul McKee(trombone),
Larry Novak (piano), Tim Davis (drums), Sharay Reed (bass), and MarkColby (tenor
sax). This cozy group is small enough to celebrate the intimacy ofLark’s sound, yet big
enough to showcase his arranging talents. The disc features standardssuch as Alone
Together, There is No Greater Love, and Evidence, as well as severalLark originals
including the well-received Cathy’s Song.
Bob Lark, First Steps -- From the opening passage of this disc, you can hear what makes
Bob Lark a special trumpet player and a special band leader. On Ravenswood, one of five
Lark compositions, the groove is tight, the arrangement sweet, and the band holding
together seamlessly. Lark even gives the first solo to one of his mates, trombonist Paul
McKee, who turns in a gem. That feeling of camaraderie and interplay carries throughout
the disc’s eight tunes. In addition to Lark’s compositions, he treats listeners to a moody
version of Alone Together, a gently swinging There Is No Greater Love, and a wonderfully
realized take on Thelonious Monk’s Evidence. This is the debut of notjust a fine trumpet
player with gorgeous tone and inventive solos but also of a terrific writer, arranger and
leader. Lark, the director of Jazz Studies at DePaul University in Chicago, shows utter
mastery and a sweet sense of swing. Students of jazz and other assorted fans should check
out First Steps; it offers a very cool lesson.
Featuring: Larry Novak, Paul McKee, Bob Mintzer, Tim Davis, Sharay Reed, Mark Colby.