Amazon.com Widgets

Frank Wess: Once is Not Enough (2009)

By Published: | 3,352 views
Frank Wess: Once is Not Enough How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Dominated by the sound of swinging, good-time blues, Once Is Not Enough indisputably plants NEA Jazz Master Wess in the tradition of Count Basie
Count Basie
Count Basie
1904 - 1984
piano
, in whose Count Basie
Count Basie
Count Basie
1904 - 1984
piano
Wess played flute, alto, and tenor saxophones for more than a decade.

This set jumps from the very start: Wess' tenor on his opening, title track sounds neither heavy or deep, but still bounces and strolls like a sharp Saturday night player. His minor blues "Sara's Song" exemplifies the energetic ensemble blowing sessions that highlighted the swing era, especially when Steve Turre

Steve Turre
Steve Turre
b.1948
trombone
's trombone solo dusts up a ruckus. Everybody in the studio gets to tear a piece off of Wess' "You Made a Good Move," a bright starburst of six-part horn harmonies—especially pianist Gerald Clayton, whose solo bounces off the echoes of Basie's simultaneously understated yet irresistible piano boogies and blues.

"Sweet and Lovely" features three different flute soloists, as Ted Nash

Ted Nash
Ted Nash
b.1960
sax, tenor
and Scott Robinson
Scott Robinson
Scott Robinson
b.1959
reeds
join Wess. A hip arrangement of "Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)" opens with just flute and bass before twirling into a finger-snapping swinger that features Wess's brightest and most articulate flute playing on the entire set, especially noteworthy since flute is one of the hardest instruments to truly swing because it's so easy to over- or under-blow it.

Not Enough is also noteworthy because it's Wess's first nonet recording in his six-decade discography. Even so, two of its highlights come from more intimate quartet performances with Michael Weiss

Michael Weiss
Michael Weiss
b.1958
piano
(piano), Rufus Reid
Rufus Reid
Rufus Reid
b.1944
bass, acoustic
(bass), and Winard Harper
Winard Harper
Winard Harper
b.1962
drums
(drums). Wess not only wrote "Dementia, My Darling" to honor his friend and mentor Ben Webster
Ben Webster
Ben Webster
1909 - 1973
sax, tenor
, his tenor playing on it sounds just like Webster's too. Weiss and Reid adorn Wess's saxophone introduction to the classic "Lush Life" with a quiet, elegant sound that proves quite refreshing among so many large-ensemble jams.

Wess and company (especially trumpet players Frank Greene and Terell Stafford

Terell Stafford
Terell Stafford
b.1966
trumpet
) blow the whole house down with his concluding "Tryin' to Make My Blues Turn Green," a chain explosion of great horn solos that provides the curtain call for this tremendous set.

Track Listing: Once Is Not Enough; Sara's Song; You Made a Good Move; Dementia, My Darling; Sweet and Lovely; Backfire; Lush Life; Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words); Tryin' to Make My Blues Turn Green.

Personnel: Frank Wess: tenor saxophone; Frank Greene: trumpet; Terell Stafford: trumpet; Steve Turre: trombone; Ted Nash: alto saxophone, flute; Scott Robinson: bass saxophone, baritone saxophone, flute; Gerald Clayton: piano; Michael Weiss: piano; Peter Washington: bass; Rufus Reid: bass; Winard Harper: drums.

Record Label: Labeth Music

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


comments powered by Disqus
Search
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Bandzoogle: GET STARTED TODAY - FREE TRIAL

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

Article Search