Thursday, April 3, 2008

Rob Lockart: Parallel Lives

Origin Arts
By Ric Bang • Originally published in The Davis Enterprise, 4.3.08
Buy CD: Parallel Lives

Rob Lockart is Texas born and educated at the University of Texas' Eastman School Of Music; he completed studies at the Banf School. He has lived and worked in New Orleans, New York and Los Angeles, where he now resides and teaches. 

His musical experience includes jobs with the Woody Herman Orchestra, Doc Severinson's Big Band and performances with numerous smaller groups headed by well-known artists such as Clark Terry, Joe La Barbera and Mel Lewis. Lockart currently is an active member of both the Chris Walden Big Band and the Woody Herman West Coast Band. 

Lockart has recorded several albums with the Walden group, but this is the first release under his own name. 

He's an excellent tenor sax artist, composer and arranger, having written all but two of the tunes here. The basic quartet consists of Lockart on tenor sax, Bill Cunliffe on piano, Jeff DiAngelo on bass, and Joe La Barbera on drums. Bob Sheppard plays tenor sax on one track, while guitarist Larry Koonse guests on another. 

All the musicians are well known and highly regarded, and their contributions are key to making Lockart's debut release a success. The group is quiet, thoughtful and swings wonderfully. 

Lockart has been a sideman with many great bands but, as a result, hasn't received the recognition he deserves. Whether he decided to take the step himself, or was talked into it, this debut is outstanding. 

Another reviewer mentioned that Lockart's cover of the old standard "All or Nothing at All" is so moving that it's hard to move forward through the rest of the tracks. I agree, and I wish I'd said it first. 

But do listen to everything; it's all prime.

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