The firm hand of David Finck serves as the backbone for his quartet and makes for a nice frame on which to lay out his debut recording, Future Day. His quartet, comprised of Joe Locke on vibes, Tom Ranier on piano, and Joe La Barbera on drums, is a crisp unit that pulls through the 12 tracks on the record with gentle swing and effortlessness. Having worked with a variety of artists from Linda Eder, Herbie Hancock, George Michael, Tony Bennett, and Rod Stewart, the pedigree of David Finck when it comes to providing a rock-solid musical structure is well established. He even played behind the legendary Aretha Franklin on Puccini’s "Nessun Dorma" on Letterman.
With Future Day, Finck gets to prove his worth as a leader in the world of jazz. Rolling through originals and standards close to his heart, Finck guides his quartet like a general through tunes by Wayne Shorter, Cedar Walton, and Roger Davidson. There are a few original compositions by Finck, as well as two from pianist Tom Ranier. The majority of the music on Future Day is led by Locke’s vibes and Ranier’s piano, giving the music silkiness and sophistication as the songs bond together. Tempo is set precisely and economically by La Barbera, whose control and subtle sense of rhythm keeps things moving efficiently. Ranier’s "I Know" sets the album off right with a credible bit of funkiness, as each instrument gets a turn to shine. Finck’s bass hops to the front at times, as if to nose its way into the work and say "hey, I’m a part of this too!" Finck’s "New Valley" exemplifies the value of a superior composition, giving equal time to Locke’s vibes and his bass. The relationship between instruments is short and snappy throughout the amiable tête-à-tête.
Other songs bring in some special guests. Jeremy Pelt’s intrepid trumpet and Bob Sheppard’s vigilant tenor sax take over for the pleasurable and spacious Bevan Manson piece "Four Flags." Pelt and Sheppard return later for "Look at You" and give the song spunkiness with their solos. Finck’s quartet settles into supple grooves tempered with vivid embellishments of piano on songs like "Appointment in Orvieto," written by Joe Locke, and the Lewis and Coots number "For All We Know." Overall, David Finck’s quartet has struck an inspiring debut with Future Day. It is an inventive gathering of songs and an impressive unveiling that should satisfy fans of uncomplicated jazz. The music is soft and soothingly affecting, unfolding like delicate flowers after a cool rain.