Bennie Wallace is irrefutably one of the finest tenor saxophonists alive. Although his distinguishable talents sometimes lack the widespread recognition he justifiably deserves. With this live release, the tenorist performs with a superior rhythm section. They pep up Gershwin, and Arlen standards, while the leader contributes three pieces to this vibrantly enacted set. Wallace’s fluent, angular lines and acute utilization of all registers is subsidized by his broad, corpulent tone. Whether deconstructing or retooling a familiar ballad or adhering to the mainstream side of matters, the saxophonist sustains interest throughout. Bassist Peter Washington and drummer Herlin Riley provide sympathetic support while also supplying the appropriate inclusion of dynamics. In addition, pianist George Cables comps and responds to Wallace’s often-spontaneous excursions in benevolent fashion. Nonetheless, this artful presentation provides a snapshot of conventional jazz at its very finest. Wallace is a superb technician who possesses the goods. But it’s not all about virtuosity as the band’s cohesiveness and symmetry shines forth in a rather prolific way. Highly recommended.
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.