Hank Jones, Frank Wess, and Eddie Diehl
Hank Jones/Christian McBride/Jimmy Cobb
Hank Jones and Frank Wess
Hank Jones is the alpha and omega of jazz. What great musician hasn't he played with? Some of the biggest names in modern jazz: Tony Williams, Ron Carter, Eddie Gomez, Al Foster, Dave Holland, Billy Higgins...the list could become very big because EVERYONE wants to play music with Hank Jones! On these recordings there are burning fast tempos, ballads, waltzes, bossa novas, bebop tunes: in short, there is no area of jazz that Hank Jones isn't interested in. Another unifying factor between these three CDs is Charlie Parker material: "Barbados on Hank and Frank, "Confirmation and "Billie's Bounce on West of 5th and Charlie Shavers' "Swedish Schnapps on Well, Here It Is....
The "big names are on West of 5th: Christian McBride (bass) and Jimmy Cobb (drums). A revival of The Great Jazz Trio? Certainly the recording is as great as you might imagine a recording would be with one of Charlie Parker's greatest pianists, one of Miles Davis' kickinest drummers and a younger bassist who carries the torch passed to him from Oscar Pettiford, Milt Hinton, Ray Brown, et al. The repertoire is like a greatest hits of jazz, yet surprises abound. "On Green Dolphin Street sounds totally fresh and joyful as the soloing starts with trades between bass and drums; Billy Strayhorn's "Lotus Blossom makes good use of McBride's arco work.
Hank & Frank is a good time in handy CD form. Frank Wess (tenor and flute) contributes four wonderful original compositions and plays with more energy than some tenor players in their 20s. With flute featured on some tunes and guitar (Ilya Lushtak) and tenor in tandem on some melodies, this group sounds bigger than a quintet because of skillful orchestration.
Guitarist Eddie Diehl's Well, Here It Is... is also a swinging good time. Perhaps a little more gentle than the other CDs here, yet kudos are due for the instrumental tone of the four musicians - John Webber (bass), Mickey Roker (drums), Jones and Diehl - and the fact that they deftly play Oscar Pettiford's "Swinging Till the Girls Come Home (here in G) in accurate three-part unison.
Tracks and Personnel
West of 5th
Tracks: On Green Dolphin Street; Mr. Walker; Speak Low; A Child Is Born; If I Were A Bell; Billie's Bounce; Lotus Blossom; Confirmation; We'll Be Together Again; Stella by Starlight; Eleanor.
Personnel: Hank Jones: piano; Christian McBride: bass; Jimmy Cobb: drums.
Hank and Frank
Tracks: You Made a Good Move; The Very Thought of You; Just One of Those Things; Autumn Serenade; Sara's Song; Something Went Wrong; A Hankerin'; Barbados; All or Nothing at All.
Personnel: Hank Jones: piano, Mickey Roker: drums, John Webber: bass; Frank Wess: flute, tenor sax; Ilya Lushtak: guitar.
Well, Here It Is...
Tracks: My Hear Stood Still; Swedish Schnapps; Semisamba; Swinging Till the Girls Come Home; Aquarian Melody; Love You Madly; My Romance; Be Bu.
Personnel: Eddie Diehl: guitar; Hank Jones: piano; John Webber: bass; Mickey Roker: drums.