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Frank Wess: Magic 201 (2014)

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Frank Wess: Magic 201 IPO Records has become the jazz destination for seasoned jazz veterans. Saxophonist James Moody
James Moody
James Moody
1925 - 2010
reeds
(1925—2010) recorded his last two releases for the label: Moody 4A (2009) and Moody 4B (2010). Hard on Moody's heels is saxophonist Frank Wess
Frank Wess
Frank Wess
1922 - 2013
sax, tenor
(1922- -2013) who followed his Magic 101 (2013) with the predictable titled Magic 201. Pianist Kenny Barron
Kenny Barron
Kenny Barron
b.1943
piano
and drummer Winard Harper
Winard Harper
Winard Harper
b.1962
drums
hold over from the previous recording, augmented by bassist Rufus Reid
Rufus Reid
Rufus Reid
b.1944
bass, acoustic
and guitarist Russell Malone
Russell Malone
Russell Malone
b.1963
guitar, electric
.

Six standards and two Wess originals fill out the recording taped in 2011. The performances are relaxed, reflecting a long life of music making. "It Could Happen to You" and "Embraceable You" are the apex of grace and swing. Wess goes solo on flute for "The Summer Knows," giving a master's class on space and time in performance. Wess waxes gut bucket on his "Blues for Ruby" a song complete with Russell Malone getting his Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry
b.1926
guitar, electric
on and ends on the breezy foreshadowing of "If It's the Last Thing I Do." Magic 201 is effortless and excellent in every way.


Track Listing: It Could Happen to You; A Cottage for Sale; After Paris; The Summer Knows; Embraceable You; Blues for Ruby; If You Can't Call, Don't Come; If It's the Last Thing I Do.

Personnel: Frank Wess: tenor saxophone, flute; Kenny Barron: piano; Russell Malone: guitar; Rufus Reid: bass; Winard Harper: drums.

Record Label: IPO Recordings

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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