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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove

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Old, New, Borrowed & Blue

Capri 74093-2



1. Ready and Able
2. Ode to Billie Joe
3. I'm Walkin'
4. Party Time
5. Road Song / OGD
6. A Weaver of Dreams
7. Star Eyes
8. Jacaranda
9. I Wanna Be Loved
10. You've Got a Friend

Frank Potenza - Guitar, vocals
Holly Hofmann - Flute, alto Flute
Joe Bagg - Organ
Steve Barnes - Drums

Recorded May 2008 - Pasadena CA 

The musicians on this record are all new to me, which made listening to this record an extremely pleasant experience. I did not know what to expect and therefore to hear something that is in all aspects an excellent musical performance by all concerned, was very impressive. The tune selection is interesting and the group's willingness to get away from the normal performance of these songs, but not so far away that they are unrecognisable, was just right.

Frank Potenza is a fine guitar player, with a very pleasant voice and vocal style. Joe Baggs' organ playing is always musical and, unusually for that instrument, he does not swamp the other musicians. Steve Barnes, like so many good American drummers, manages plenty of swing, with only the necessary amount of noise. Holly Hofmann's flute playing is a real revelation. Very few people manage to play jazz flute with any real conviction, and Holly is undoubtedly one of them.

Ready and Able has the band showing off its bebop chops and it does it very well; both the ensemble and the solos are most effective. Ode to Billie Joe I have not heard as a jazzer before, but it works. Walkin' has been rejigged from the original version in a most attractive way and Frank provides a fine vocal on this track. Party Time received a similar overhaul from the group to good effect. Road Song was for a long time in the Wes Montgomery book, but the trio takes it in ¾. Holly and Frank work Weaver as a duo number; it is a tune that always swings and they do just that.

Star Eyes is taken in 5/4, just as sure-footedly as if it was in the usual 4/4. Jacaranda is a Frank Potenza original taken at a medium samba tempo. I Wanna Be Loved is another good vocal number for Frank. You've Got a Friend is a Carole King song that is played as a gentle jazz performance.

My favourite track is Ready and Able, but there is not a bad track on the record! I liked all of it a lot. I also liked the informative sleeve-notes and the general presentation of the record.

Don Mather  

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