One might have expected there would be a plethora of baritone sax / tenor sax recordings following the standout 1959 Verve release Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster
. Not so, although the two principals were involved in a follow-up album in 1960 for HiFi Jazz entitled Jimmy Witherspoon With Mulligan and Webster at The Renaissance
. The Frank Basile
/ Sam Dillon
Quintet recording 2 Part Solution
is a bit of a throwback to this earlier period, but is unlikely to be the precursor to an outpouring of similar recordings.
The session starts off in formidable fashion with the John Lewis
/ Dizzy Gillespie
composition "Two Bass Hit." After a full throated unison opening, and as drummer Aaron Kimmel
pushes Basile and Dillon along, they each take lengthy solos that are assertive and proficient. Basile and Dillon are a well-seasoned front line who demonstrate a driving adaptability that enables them to chose a broad variety of material including Thad Jones
' lyrical ballad "Kids Are Pretty People." Here the two horns are intertwined giving a mellow focussed sound, that leads into a fleet fingered solo from bassist Mike Karn
. All in all the number is delivered with a very empathetic reading.
In 1959, French director Marcel Camus made the movie Black Orpheus
in Brazil, which was noteworthy for, among other things, its soundtrack by two Brazilian composers, Antonio Carlos Jobim
and Luis Bonfá. It is Bonfá's "Samba De Orfeu" that the band digs into here. Dashing along initially in an up-tempo samba beat, it becomes a pure swinger as Dillon's tenor solo cuts a broad swath though the composition, leading into Jeb Patton
's versatile piano intervention before the band takes the number out in pure samba fashion.
The title track "Two Part Solution" is an original number by Sam Dillon. It is an abstract construct with an expressive texture that allows Dillon an extended exploration before Basile jumps in with his own rigorous coloration. Pianist Patton delivers a precise solo prior to the number concluding. The final track is a stellar composition by trombonist Slide Hampton
called "Frame For The Blues," which was written for the Maynard Ferguson
band. With its bluesy groove, it gives the band the space to look for the pleasure of the sounds, and to pick their spots to show they all are astute improvisors.
This recording was produced at Rudy van Gelder's Studio in Englewood Cliffs NJ and delivers the goods.
Two Bass Hit; Love Letters; The Cardiff Giant; Lo Joe; Kids Are Pretty People; Samba de Orfeu; Two Part Solution; 54 Thing; Frame For The Blues.