In the tradition of George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Lee Ritenour and many more, Mark Whitfield exhibits superb finger dexterity with [i]Grace[/i] (Marksman Productions, 2017).
The players are Whitfield, guitar; sons Davis Whitfield, piano, and Mark Whitfield Jr., drums; Yasushi Nakamura, bass; and Sy Smith, vocals on “Grace.”
The music throughout is unfiltered jazz with tight syncopation and unit cohesion, augmented by individual expression. Smith lends her whispery voice to the title song, whose lyrics she wrote. Whitfield breezes through the songs, playing cleanly whether mixing chords with a string of single notes, or doing a high-speed riff. Davis, Mark Jr. and Nakamura deliver solid accompaniment, at times stretching out on their own.