Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Jack Wilkins Quartet

The U.K.'s String Jazz caught Jack Wilkins and Jimmy Bruno in England at the same time and decided to record them under the mantle of a quartet led by Wilkins. That's misleading because Bruno is as prominent as Wilkins, and the settings range from solo performances to quartet. Whatever, the outcome is an album to be enjoyed by jazz guitar fans in particular and jazz lovers in general. This is not the only time these two have performed together. In 1997, they were together at the Benedetto Concert on Long Island, NY, named in honor of master guitar builder Robert Benedetto. The synergy they developed then is even more highly honed here. "Voyage" is high-energy stuff with Patrick Illingworth's drums calling the shots on rhythm. Wilkins' clean guitar lines contrast with Bruno's fondness for chords and octave playing as the latter's adherence to the big-toned electric tradition is evident here and elsewhere. This burner is tempered by cooler playing on such sweeter cuts as "Give Me the Simple Life," where this time Bruno kicks off the melody with Wilkins taking a later chorus with matters concluding with friendly chord trading. One of the more startling cuts on the album, "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To," starts off as if it were from the pen of Telemann, Vivaldi, or some other Baroque composer, before seguing into a medium tempo where each shows dazzling technique and speed. There are times on this cut where one wonders whether a third guitarist was snuck into the studio. Their respective bop upbringing come to the fore in Denzil Best's classic "Move." This album captures two veteran jazz guitarists at the top of their form, both completely confident of their mastery of the instrument and the music they have chosen to play on it. Recommended.
Dave Nathan

Source :

Jack Wilkins
Heading North


1 Relaxin' at Camarillo (Parker) 3:40
2 One Note Samba [Duo] (Hendricks, Jobim, Mendonca) 4:34
3 Kiwi Bird (Wilkins) 4:54
4 You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To [Duo] (Porter) 4:36
5 Some Time Ago [Trio] (Mihanovich) 4:57
6 Perdido [Duo] (Drake, Lengsfelder, Tizol) 4:53
7 When I Fall in Love [Trio] (Heyman, Young) 5:00
8 Carninhos Cruzados [Duo] (Jobim) 6:16
9 Voyage (Barron) 6:40
10 There Will Never Be Another You [Duo] (Gordon, Warren) 2:04
11 Move [Duo] (Best, Walsh) 3:06
12 Give Me the Simple Life (Bloom, Ruby) 5:24
13 In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning (Hilliard, Mann) 2:18
14 Broadway [Duo] (Bird, Headon, Jones, McRae) 4:06

Jack Wilkins - g
Jimmy Bruno - g
Phil France - b
Patrick Illingworth - dr

Recorded at Crimson 2 Studios, Sale, UK ; June 13th 2000

From the opening strains of “Relaxin’ at Camarillo” (by Charlie Parker), Jack Wilkins and Jimmy Bruno set the stage for an exciting display of wonderfully crafted jazz guitar by two of the finest players on the current scene. They begin with a tasty and free-floating interchange of single-note lines that play off of each other beautifully. Their superb interplay, which continues throughout each of the duo and quartet selections, demonstrates not only each artist’s individual technical command of the instrument, but also the respect they have fore each other as they allow creativity without any confusion of ideas. Some of the duo tracks included are classics such as “One Note Samba,” “Perdido,” and “Broadway.” The accompaniment offered alternately by Wilkins and Bruno masterfully supports the soloist, and it is obvious that you are listening to two good friends who enjoy playing music together. The similarity of their overall style and phrasing provides a continuity and flow of improvised musical lines that appear to have been created by the same mind. “There Will Never Be Another You” begins with a terrific contrapuntal display and develops quickly into an exciting up-tempo presentation complete with chordal and walking bass-line accompaniment by both players. The solo rendition of “In the Wee Small Hours” shows Wilkins as a thoughtful and sensitive musician in addition to his obvious capabilities as a straight-ahead, high-energy player. The rhythm section of Phil France on bass and Patrick Illingsworth on drums provides solid support on all trio and quartet tunes. Bottom line: This CD is one that definitely should be included in the collection of any listener who appreciates interesting harmonies and pure, swinging jazz.
Vince Lewis, Just Jazz Guitar, Jan 1, 2000

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stublag said...

it needs t

PlantDoctor53 said...

Thank you Mel!

rje said...

Mel, re Jack Wilkins Bluesin & Heading North - thanks! Ever since I saw Jack playing solo on the vestapol dvd The Guitar Show Jazz Masters, I could see/hear he's a brilliant guitarist. Jimmy Bruno is also a highly skilled and musical man.

Kovina Kris said...

Thanks for another fine Jack Wilkins album Mel. Great post as usual!

stringbender said...

Thank you for posting this fine Jack Wilkins CD ("Heading North"). He and Jimmy Bruno sound great together.

flyingfinger said...

Great to get two of the best together!
Thank you for this - again

Anonymous said...

thanks for all yours works and sharings,btw what's the pw for the two jack wilkins sets

Melanchthon said...

Unknown said...

Can you provide the password for the Jack wilkins set?Please and thank you!

Unknown said...

Never mind I found the password!!Thanks for posting this session-never heard of it before!

pedro gamundi said...


francisco santos said...

can U re post this one, please ????...
Big THX !!!...