The Pete BarenBregge-Frank Russo Quartet: PF Flyer (2002)
Tenor saxophonist Pete BarenBregge and drummer Frank Russo are a couple of retired military with extensive military band musical experience. They have now moved on to other musical matters, BarenBregge as Warner Bros. publications jazz editor and Russo as a free lance musician and drum instructor. The always adventurous Summit label has brought them together in a quartet setting to address a musical agenda of standards and some original material. One of the originals, the title tune "PF Flyer" belies the proposition that nothing good can come from a work created by committee. This work composed by the quartet is one of the more intense performances on the session, as each member of the group individually and collectively express and bring to fruition the outpourings of a melange of musical ideas. It recalls some of the early Herbie Hancock recordings when he was at his inventive and expansive best. In contrast to this hard driving piece is a pensive, slightly Latin paced "Tones for Joan's Bones" where BarenBregge sets aside the sax for the flute. That this session is a truly cooperative undertaking is evident as each member of the group gets a chance to express himself on most cuts. Tom Cecil's bass and the leader's drums are prominent on "I Love You". BarenBregge picks up the tenor for a rapturous interpretation of "What's New" with Cecil's bass playing underneath. But as the CD progresses, one slowly but surely comes to realize that it's the piano of Fred Hughes that gets most of your attention. Whether it be in support of a BarenBregge solo taking a few choruses by himself, such as on "The Summer Rain", Hughes'feel for melody and improvisation on it just bubble off the edge of the CD, figuratively of course. His presence alone makes this album a recommended one.
Kudos to Arizona-based Summit Records for continuing to bring to the public a steady stream of products by excellent jazz musicians we might not otherwise have gotten an opportunity to hear.
Track Listing: You Stepped out of a Dream; PF Flyer; Day Dreaming; I Love You; Song for TH; Out of the Blue; What's new; The Summer Rain; Tones for Joan's Bones
Personnel: Pete BarenBregge - Tenor & Soprano Sax/Flute; Frank Russo - Drums; Fred Hughes - Piano; Tom Cecil - Bass; Steve Zerlin - Bass