Doug Sertl "Beautiful Friendship"


Doug Sertl: Beautiful Friendship (2013)



Published: July 14, 2013

Here's an interesting concept: an organ trio with trombone (or vice versa), led by Canadian trombonist Doug Sertl with Rick Montalbano at the Hammond B3, Peter Bernstein on guitar and another Canadian, Terry Clarke, in the drum chair. The album was recorded before the millennium and marked time on a shelf until it was released in 2013, an occasion that was, in Sertl's words, "long overdue." Surely, Beautiful Friendship has as much or more to offer than quite a few albums that have seen the light of day since it was completed and shunted aside. Sertl's quartet is exemplary, and the bright-hued session should please fans of both organ trios and trombone.

The choice of material is tried and true, encompassing five standards, Dizzy Gillespie's bop classic "Groovin' High" and Mercer Ellington's "Things Ain't What They Used to Be." Even though Sertl is in command he is never imperious, and everyone is given more than a few chances to shine. Like Sertl, Bernstein and Montalbano are resourceful soloists, while Clarke, who knows when to take charge or lay back, is the ideal timekeeper for a group of this size and bearing. He uses sticks to make his more explicit points, brushes whenever the mood is more sedate.

Sertl and the others fashion a bright, amiable groove on "Beautiful Friendship" and maintain it through "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" and "I Hear a Rhapsody" before slowing the tempo on "Nancy (With the Laughing Face)." On "Groovin' High," Montalbano and Bernstein establish the theme while Sertl superimposes the melody on which it based, "Whispering." Hoagy Carmichael / Ned Washington's "The Nearness of You," best remembered as a sensuous ballad sung by Sarah Vaughan, among others, is taken at a slightly brisker tempo, which leads to the shuffling finale, "Things Ain't What They Used to Be."

Even though its playing time is under fifty minutes, Beautful Friendship can be endorsed for its many engaging moments, and for the musical artistry of Sertl, Bernstein, Montalbano and Clark, who together comprise a superior foursome whose impressive voices are worth hearing.

Track Listing: Beautiful Friendship: I’m Getting Sentimental Over You; I Hear a Rhapsody; Nancy (With the Laughing Face); Groovin’ High; The Nearness of You; Things Ain’t What They Used to Be.

Personnel: Doug Sertl: trombone; Peter Bernstein: guitar; Rick Montalbano: B3 organ; Terry Clarke: drums.

Record Label: :province Records

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Doug Sertle Beautiful Friendship 2012

Originally issued in Sept. of 2012, Beautiful Friendship is the one that got away. Unfortunately an Independent critic can not review everything in a timely fashion andmuch like the Independent artist faces numerous obstacles in making their work known and hopefully accepted by the general public.Trombone veteran Doug Sertl is far from a newbie but themusic businessbeing what it is has found Sertl enjoying a great deal of success as anA list session player from the Bill Watrous school of trombone.

Beautiful Friendship is a somewhat eclecticbass-less 4tet with B3 player Rick Montalbano picking up the slackto give the illusion of abassist withan incredibly organic feel when joined by Peter Bernstein on guitar and Terry Clarke on drums.With the release covering seven tunes some could easily mistake this effort for what may be considered the more traditional EP but as with most things it is quality not quantity that should grab the attention of most listeners. From a sonic perspective alone the sound quality is that of a live studio recording. The tunes here are straight from the old school wheelhouse of the more straigh ahead and performed with an amazing panache by these veteran musicians. "Nancy (With The Laughing Face), "Groovin High" and "The Nearness of You"highlight this virtuoso performance from Sertl and should be a welcome addition to the library of any old school or trombone fan.

Sertl has a musical resume that should be the envy of most performers having worked with such luminaries as Tony Bennett, Kenny Barron, and Freddie Hubbard to just scratch the surface. Critically acclaimed having received a 4.5 star write up from Down Beat in 1983with adifferent project it would be safe to say Sertl has experienced exponential growth with Beautiful Friendship an all most perfect release.

Not to be out done by Down Beat...

Tracks: Beautiful Friendship; I'm Getting Sentimental Over You; I Hear A Rhapsody; Nancy (With The Laughing Face); Groovin High; The Nearness Of You; Things Ain't What They Used To Be.

Personnel: Doug Sertl: trombone; Peter Bernstein: guitar; Rick Montalbano: B3 organ; Terry Clarke: drums.

Rick Montalbano 2014