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
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
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.