Martin Wind Quartet: Salt 'n Pepper! (2008)
The opener signals that this will be an intriguing journey: "Dream" begins with a splendid solo by pianist Bill Cunliffe and then weaves through different landscapes, just like a nocturnal reverie. Given the consistently high quality of this CD, it's difficult to pick highlights, but favorites include the droll "Remember October 13th," a swinging "Turn Out the Stars," the thoughtful "Cruise Blues" and the riotous "Early Morning Blues," neither of which follows the predictable blues formula. Wind's playing is very strong throughoutboth lyrical and swingingand his arco commentary on "Come Sunday" is particularly rich and satisfying. In fact, each member of the Martin Wind Quartet is world-class, with multi-reedist Scott Robinson providing imaginative instrumentation and unusually atmospheric playing.
In the liner notes to Salt 'N Pepper!, Matt Wilson describes the quartet as "sonic chefs" who blend basic condiments and flavors into "an extraordinary menu." Stretching the culinary metaphor a little further, it can be said that this varied buffet of fresh and favorite melodies, rendered so wonderfully by this stellar group of musicians, is nothing less than delicious.
Track Listing: The Dream; Bright Mississippi; Remember October 13th; Turn Out the Stars; The Cruise Blues; 10 Minute Song; Mr. Friesen; Big Al; Early Morning Blues; Come Sunday.
Personnel: Martin Wind: bass; Bill Cunliffe: piano; Scott Robinson: tenor sax, bass clarinet, Echo Cornet (9); Greg Hutchinson: drums.
Record Label: Challenge Records