Asherie wisely never embellishes the material – which is split between standards and originals – with gratuitous contemporary touches. One highlight is the briskly paced Dizzy Gillespie classic “Shaw ’Nuff,” where Asherie trades solos with ace tenor saxist Grant Stewart and fleet-fingered trumpeter Ryan Kisor. Asherie also distinguishes himself on Irving Berlin’s contemplative, heartfelt “Isn’t This a Lovely Day?” evoking Marian McPartland’s sophisticated earthiness.
Asherie’s originals are similarly resourceful and engaging, particularly the boppish title track, which elicits Erroll Garner’s adventurous spirit and the masterful, mid-tempo “The Special.” Throughout, Asherie displays an easy confidence that foreshadows praiseworthy accomplishments for future projects.
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