On a non-eventful morning in late winter I set up a conference call with two seasoned legends of the Jazz scene. I wanted to get to the core of what drives them, how they keep the excitement in their game. Mark Sherman, fidget spinner in hand, calmly told me of the origin of the new band, interspersed with stories of the old and new days. It goes like this: Antonio Farao had a gig in New York at Smoke with Mark and Mike Clark in the band. They played a couple of Mark’s tunes, and the vibe drove them forward.
‘Hey Man, we should DO something’
And so it began. They brought in Felix Pastoriuson bass and the rhythm just hit with Mike and Felix mastering the swing. Enter a young Sax player from Boston – Chase Baird– whose intonation met the challenge. Venture, a swinging band spanning four generations of players, took the money from the gigs and went into the studio to record. Starting with Mark’s tunes, Mike and Chase offered a few selections of their own and the tracklist was set.
Mark Sherman’s writing is superb, offering all kinds of possibilities for these four band members, all playing at the highest level with enthusiasm. There is no waiting to get in the groove, instant communication happens and it just takes right off.
‘Chase is a shredder… he shows no mercy, and neither do we! It’s like a pack of hungry dogs going after meat’
Mark Sherman and Mike Clark have seen it all – from big stages around the world to small venues in Manhattan – and they love every gig. That perspective drives the art form forward with positive energy. Venture is true to the name – a Venture into a common space between four seasoned players of different times. Enjoy the ride!