3:1 Review: Live in Morristown DVD (Mark Trammell Quartet)
1. Vocal Control: Every member of the Mark Trammell Quartet knows the limits within which his voice sounds ideal, and stays within those limits. Case in point: Pat Barker’s solo on “Calvary Medley”; unlike other bass singers, who can get so focused on impressing audiences with their voice’s low end that they have put little effort unto the upper end, Barker’s verse here is more likely to make you think of a 1970s Squire Parsons than of Glenn Dustin or Tim Riley.
2. Opening three songs: Gerald Wolfe joined the group for the first three songs, playing piano on “Old Convention Song,” “Gentle Shepherd,” and “Wedding Music.” These performances were so strong that the audio from two actually found its way onto the group’s latest live project, Treasures, reviewed here.
3. Image Quality: This video was professionally filmed and looks excellent. Granted, it would look even better if it wasn’t interlaced, but that aside, this is easily the best-looking DVD the group has released. (And no, Pat, I’m not talking about your hair. You look better than I do, but you sing better than you look!)
:1. One thing I would change: More Piano: In a typical Mark Trammell Quartet concert, the group will eschew soundtracks for much of the program, with lead singer Dustin Sweatman and Mark Trammell playing piano and bass guitar, respectively. After some delightful comedy, Gerald Wolfe played piano for the first three songs. The remainder of the program featured songs with soundtracks. It would have made the video even stronger had they used more live piano and bass.
Traditional or Progressive
Group members: Joel Wood, Joel Wood, Joel Wood, Joel Wood, Joel Wood (happy now, Joel? ), Dustin Sweatman, Mark Trammell, and Pat Barker (who looks better than I do, but sings better than he looks). • Review copy provided. • Song list: Old Convention Song; Gentle Shepherd; Wedding Music; Leave Your Sorrows and Come Along; I Believe, I Believe, I Believe; One Drop of Blood; How Long Has it Been; It’s Almost Over; Testimony; Calvary Medley; I Want to Know.