Bennie Wallace: The Nearness of You (2004)
The industry folks just don’t get it: Bennie Wallace (tenor sax), Kenny Barron (piano) and Eddie Gomez (bass) are just too talented to be pigeon-holed into a straight-ahead, mostly easy listening standards album. Basically, it’s a nice album but not something that excites the senses, starts the juices flowing or forces you to confront new interpretations and ideas. In sum, it’s a pleasant disc but not one you’ll want to pop into the player on a regular basis.
Having offered that much criticism, I would be remiss not to say that there are moments here that are truly delightful. Take for example, Kenny Barron’s soulful blues playing on Ann Ronell’s "Willow Weep for Me." Or Wallace and Gomez’s outstanding duo on Sam Coslow’s and Arthur Johnson’s "Cocktails for Two." The last track, Henry Nemo’s "’Tis Autumn," includes fine solos by all three musicians.
Visit Justin Time on the web.
Track Listing: 1. Come Rain or Come Shine; 2. Willow Weep for Me; 3. Crazy He Calls Me; 4. Cocktails for Two; 5. Why Was I Born; 6. The Nearness of You; 7. I'm Old Fashioned; 8. I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face; 9. Some Other Spring; 10. 'Tis Autumn;
Personnel: Bennie Wallace: Tenor Saxophone; Eddie Gomez: Bass; Kenny Barron: Piano.
Record Label: Enja Records