Bud ShankFour Classic AlbumsAvid Records UK2012Bud Shank is typical of the jazz musicians that roamed the West Coast in the fifties in that he was able to work comfortably in a variety of settings: big bands, the studio, and clubs. Like many of the other players, Shank also played more than one instrument, which made him a valuable member of the bandstand and afforded his solo recordings a bit more variety than what was coming out of the cool school at the time. Four Classic Albums collects a handful of records from ...read more
One of the apparent pitfalls that a young artist such as Jake Fryer finds himself in danger of, while making an album with star such as Bud Shank--especially when playing the same instrument, namely the alto saxophone--is that freedom of expression often gives way to reverence. The younger player might feel obligated to diminish him/herself, so that the mentor can be given his or her rightful place in the proceedings. However, this is certainly not one of the issues that arise with the Jake Fryer/Bud Shank Quintet. While Shank soars--seemingly from an already elevated position on the haloed ground of ...read more
On April 2, 2009 the world lost another giant of jazz when alto saxophonist great Bud Shank died peacefully in his Tucson, Arizona home. But the master chose not to pass away with a whimper but, rather, with a bang, blowing his last notes the day before at Studio West in San Diego. Shank was one of Jake Fryer's greatest influences on the alto saxophone. Fryer, a British composer and alto saxophonist, had dreamed of pairing up with Shank for a magical recording, leading to In Good Company. The two alto saxophonists, along with Shank's west coast rhythm section of ...read more
Young British composer/alto saxophonist Jake Fryer joins forces with veteran bopper Bud Shank and his favorite West Coast rhythm section, to form the Jake Fryer / Bud Shank Quintet for In Good Company. It's a lively and engaging album, a mix of standards and Fryer originals that brings the two alto saxophonists together for a recording date full of spontaneity, mutual respect and enjoyment. Sadly, it also proved to be the 82 year-old Shank's valedictory recording, as he was not in good health and died on April 2nd 2009, the day after the session took place. In ...read more
Jake Fryer second recording, In Good Company, finds the British alto saxophonist recording in San Diego with fellow altoist Bud Shank and his rhythm section. Fryer's previous release, On Our Terms (Nuts About Jazz, 2008), was the live debut of the London Bebop Collective; Fryer also leads the Jake Fryer Quartet and is part of the Little Big Band. With two saxophonists in front, it is not surprising that this turns out to be a blowing session in the main. But pianist Mike Wofford makes a considerable presence as well--not only with his rhythmic drive, but also with ...read more
In the Wild West, when a cowboy passed away while doing his job, whether herding cattle, branding a steer or engaging in a gunfight, the popular saying was that he died with his boots on." The adage applies as well to renowned alto saxophonist Bud Shank, who recorded what was to be his final album, Fascinating Rhythms, at the Jazz Bakery in Culver City, CA on January 29-31, 2009--less than three months before his passing at age eighty-two after a long battle with emphysema. As it turns out, Shank not only had his boots on, he had them specially polished ...read more
I'll always have fond memories of the 2007 Prescott (Arizona) Jazz Summit, as it was the last time I had the great pleasure of seeing and hearing the phenomenal alto saxophonist Bud Shank doing what he did best: enfolding an entire audience in the palm of his hand with a seemingly endless stream of irrepressible notes and phrases that arose from his heart and soul and cascaded gracefully through the bell of his horn.
As Shank was at the time recovering from a serious illness, there was talk among those at the event that he might not be able to ...read more