Bob Sheppard: Close Your Eyes - Jazz Weekly
If you haven’t seen tenor/soprano saxist Bob Sheppard perform, then you must not live in LA, as he’s frequented every club in town, gigging with the likes of Kurt Elling to Chick Corea. This disc, featuring some of So Cal’s best musicians (Alan Pasqua/p, John Beasley/p, Larry Koonse/g, Antonio Sanchez/dr, Gave Noel/b, Walter Rodriquez/perc) and guest Alex Sipiagen on a couple of tracks, has Sheppard running the gamut of woodwinds, from tenor sax to flute various clarinets. Tricky tunes like the guitar tenor front line of “Surface Tension” are putty in Sheppards hands, while his soprano on “Fast Company” is crisp and sharp. A couple cooking little B3 ditties like “Gazelle” make you feel you’re at a second set in a Valley club, while his “Goodbye” with Noel is as lonely as a night under a freeway overpass. Impressive chops, albeit a bit anonymous in sound.
George W. Harris