Sunday, January 27, 2013

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.
Ken Dryden

Frank Wess
The Frank Wess Quartet


1 It's So Peaceful in the Country (Wilder) 4:01
2 Rainy Afternoon (Wess) 8:26
3 Star Eyes (DePaul, Raye) 3:54
4 Stella by Starlight (Washington, Young) 5:10
5 But Beautiful (Burke, Van Heusen) 4:36
6 Gone With the Wind (Magidson, Wrubel) 5:46
7 I See Your Face Before Me (Dietz, Schwartz) 6:05

Frank Wess - fl & ts
Tommy Flanagan - p
Eddie Jones - b
Bobby Donaldson - dr

Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder, New York City ; May 9, 1960.


Otis Foster said...

I saw him several years ago at Birdland (NYC), on a double bill with Junior Mance and Cyrus Chestnut, still going strong. Thanks for posting this, Melanchthon.

lcbriza said...

Thanks for this.

Leopold said...

Kovina Kris said...

This looks great. Thank you!

duck said...

Another welcome upgrade, thanks again Leopold

stringbender said...

Many thanks!!

Vincent Ponka said...

Another great album I've been introduced to here! Thanks for all your hard work. Amazing music.s