Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Frank Wess - Seven Classic Albums - IV

In a Minor Groovie:
With the exceptional flute sounds produced by Frank Wess, the combo plays music that is oriented via a unique sonic palate, further enhanced by the principals in the standards and originals they have chosen. Fellow Detroiter Herman Wright is here on bass, with duties split between legendary drummers Art Taylor and Roy Haynes, who place particular emphasis on subtle brushwork. Of course, the watchword of Ashby's sound is elegance, as she and Wess weave magical threads of gold and silver through standards like the circular and pristine "Moonlight in Vermont," the dramatic, slow "Yesterdays," or the sad "Alone Together." In a more Baroque or chamber setting, "Charmain" and "It's a Minor Thing" have Wess and Ashby thinking on a regal or Grecian platform. The variety on this collection is impressive, as you hear cinematic bluesy proclamations on "Autumn in Rome," striking mystery in "Taboo," mischievous and sly winks during "Rascallity," and a sexy calypso-to-swing beat as "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" unfolds. - by Michael G. Nastos, AMG

The Frank Wess Quartet:
Frank Wess has long been one of the most underrated flautists in jazz, but it's his primary instrument on this CD reissue of a Moodsville LP recorded in 1960. With fine accompaniment by piano master Tommy Flanagan, bassist Eddie Jones and drummer Bobby Donaldson, the leader's lyrical chops are evident in Alec Wilder's rarely performed ballad "It's So Peaceful in the Country." The light Latin setting of "Star Eyes" initially spotlights Flanagan's elegant piano, with the rhythm switching gears as Wess works his magic on flute. Flanagan alone introduces the dreamy interpretation of "But Beautiful," while Wess will melt any heart with his gorgeous flute solo. Wess is best known for his swinging tenor saxophone, heard on the richly textured "Gone With the Wind," a spacious "Stella by Starlight" (which will rival any saxophonist's recording for pure beauty), as well as his bluesy original "Rainy Afternoon," with Donaldson's light percussion possibly suggesting stepping in sidewalk puddles or windshield wipers clearing intermittent precipitation. Highly recommended. - by Ken Dryden, AMG

Artist: Frank Wess
Album: Seven Classic Albums IV.
Year: 1958, 1960 (New Jazz; Prestige)
Label: Real Gone Jazz (Digitally Remastered, 2013)
Runtime: 77:19

Tracks:
In a Minor Groovy
1.  Rascallity (Dorothy Ashby) 3:54
2.  You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To (Cole Porter) 3:59
3.  It's a Minor Thing (Dorothy Ashby) 3:56
4.  Yesterdays (Otto Harbach/Jerome Kern) 4:22
5.  Bohemia After Dark (Oscar Pettiford) 6:19
6.  Taboo (Margarita Lecuona) 6:15
7.  Autumn in Rome (Sammy Cahn/Paul Weston) 5:33
8.  Alone Together (Howard Dietz/Arthur Schwartz) 4:58
The Frank Wess Quartet
9. It's So Peaceful in the Country (Alec Wilder) - 4:01
10. Rainy Afternoon (Frank Wess) - 8:26
11. Star Eyes (Gene de Paul / Don Raye) - 3:54
12. Stella by Starlight (Ned Washington / Victor Young) - 5:10
13. But Beautiful (Johnny Burke / Jimmy Van Heusen) - 4:36
14. Gone with the Wind (Herb Magidson / Allie Wrubel) - 5:46
15. I See Your Face Before Me (Howard Dietz / Arthur Schwartz) - 6:05

Personnel:
Frank Wess (Flute, Tenor Saxophone)
Dorothy Ashby (Harp) 1-8
Herman Wright (Double Bass) 1-8
Roy Haynes (Drums) 1-8
Tommy Flanagan (Piano) 9-15
Eddie Jones (Double Bass) 9-15
Bobby Donaldson (drums) 9-15

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