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David Zych of JAZZTIMES says:

"When Vaughn Nark blows his trumpet, Gabriel must look down with a measure of envy. This recording, Nark's first major release, features the fiery musician in a tour de force program of jazz classics, many peppered with his trademark searing trumpet cadenzas. Check out the opening lines of "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise," and the "A" above double "C" on "My Funny Valentine," a cooking arrangement that Nark also sings with conviction. For sheer energy, give a listen to Bird's "Billie's Bounce," and enjoy convincing solos from Tim Eyermann (flute, alto), Peter Fraize (tenor), Tom Williams (bass) and Fred Hughes (keyboards), with Keith Killgo dynamic on drums."

Mike Joyce of the WASHINGTON POST says:

"Brace yourself. Vaughn Nark is the sort of jazz trumpeter for whom not even the sky is the limit. When his horn soars above double C on his new album, as it often does with exacting precision and blazing flourish, the notes seem Heaven-bound, so much so that perhaps even the trumpet-toting angel Gabriel may feel a slight twinge of envy. In Nark's hands, the song is seldom the same. For instance, the album's opening track, "Softy as in a Morning Sunrise," comes across as a brash wake-up call. Opening with a electrifying trumpet cadenza, the arrangement is booted along by a vigorous section propelled by drummer Keith Killgo and colored by Nark's deft doubling on valve trombone and Peter Fraize's full-throated tenor saxophone. Other surprises include "Fiesta Mojo," a Dizzy Gillespie romp during which Nark salutes (and liberally quotes from) the great trumpeter, and "Tanga," another Gillespie homage, this one shaded in subtle and soulful harmonies. Here and elsewhere, the performances are enhanced by several talented musicians, including saxophonist-flutist Tim Eyermann, saxophonist Saul Miller, pianist Fred Hughes, guitarist Rick Whitehead, bassist Tom Williams and percussionist Alfredo Mojica. While "Somethin'' Special" will certainly appeal to fans of Gillespie, as well as admirers of such high-flying trumpeters as Jon Faddis, Arturo Sandoval and Doc Severinsen, Nark also evokes memories of Chet Baker's introverted vocal style on a couple of ballads that provide him -and us- with a well-served breather."

NARK, BLOWING AUDIENCE AWAY - Mike Joyce-Washington Post

"Jazz Royalty" Concert - Keri Gunter -Brigham Young Univ - Hawaii


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