2. Blue Lantern
3. In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning
4. One for Miss D
5. Lazy Afternoon
6. Menage à Bleu
7. Just One of Those Things
8. My One and Only Love
9. Who Cares?
10. I Cover the Waterfront
Paul Meyers – Acoustic nylon string guitar
Frank Wess – Tenor, flute
Martin Wind – Acoustic bass
Tony Jefferson – Drums
Andy Bey – Vocals (track 5)
Anything with Frank Wess is a must for me. Having learned his craft
with the Count Basie Band, like so many of the other great tenor players,
he never fails to delight: great tone, wonderful phrasing and improvisation
on both tenor sax and flute, a real jazz giant whose abilities have
not diminished with age.
It was an inspired move by Paul Meyers to book Frank for this session.
The trio is a fine backing unit and everyone sounds very relaxed and
happy, the only way good-quality jazz is ever produced.
The programme choice is wide and varied. There is a nice Strayhorn
opener in Snibor, and I have never heard it played by anyone
except Ellington, for whom it was written.
Blue Lantern is a blues which has Frank on flute as does The
Wee Small Hours, which is done as a bossa nova.
On first hearing I was not sure about One For Miss D, which
sounded a bit like Tea for Two played in two different keys
at once! After a couple of hearings however it seems to fit together
OK. The drum solo over the walking bass works well.
Just One of Those Things is taken at a fast pace, but no-one
seems fazed at that and the rhythm section holds everything together
well. My One and Only Love is a very special tune and it suits
Frank very well, giving him an opportunity to display his luscious
tone. It is a shame, but this beautiful style of ballad playing seems
to be disappearing from the repertoire of many of the newer guys on
the block. Frank’s cadenza at the end is a thing worth special praise.
Who Cares? is not a tune that is frequently played. It is
a Gershwin tune from the show “Of Thee I Sing.” The star this time
is Paul Meyers, whose guitar work throughout is exquisite, whether
comping or soloing.
I Cover the Waterfront has been around a long time and will
always be associated with Billie Holiday. Frank’s great sound against
a neat minor vamp from Paul makes for very pleasant listening.
This record is a must for listeners who prefer their jazz straight
ahead. A top tenor man with a class rhythm section will always be
a buy for me!