139

Spike Wilner Ensemble: A Blues of Many Colors

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist/composer Spike Wilner got the group together for a month of gigs at Smalls, the jazz club in in New York's Greenwich village, to polish up their chops for the recording session that resulted in A Blues of Many Colors. Time well spent: they put a nice shine on nine of Wilner's compositions.

The ensemble is a quintet, piano/bass/drums rhythm behind the rather unusual combination of a guitar/alto sax front line. And an initial impression of the set is how well the front line blends; lots of unison playing, the guitar seeming to echo around the brassy alto grooves. Sax man Ian Hendrickson Smith has a sweet tone—on a blindfold test the name Phil Woods might come up, and Woods is a straight line back to Charlie Parker.

This is a true ensemble workout; nobody hogging the spotlight, though there is some fine front line soling, with Wilner taking an occasional step out front.

Wilner is a skilled accompanist, in the mode of Harold Mabern, who lately has been sitting in behind Eric Alexander, George Coleman and Ned Otter. Like Mabern, he doesn't call a lot of attention to himself; but everyone around him is sounding great. It's worth a spin or two of the CD just to listen to what he's doing.

A solid set of songs, the highlight perhaps the title track—hot, bebopish, the rhythm relaxed, grooving.

www.freshsoundrecords.com

Track Listing: Upsaka, Prelude, A Blues of Many Colors, The East Village Inamorata, The Silver Card, Wyrick's Fable, Foolish Lament, A Stitch in Time, Spike Strikes

Personnel: Spike Wilner, piano; Kenji Rabson, bass; Brian Floody, drums; Yves Brouqui, guitar; Ian Hendrickson Smith, alto sax

Title: A Blues of Many Colors | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Blue Moon


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Amour Cruel" CD/LP/Track Review Amour Cruel
by Peter Jurew
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by John Sharpe
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Expedition" CD/LP/Track Review Expedition
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 4, 2017
Read "Ripple" CD/LP/Track Review Ripple
by Bob Kenselaar
Published: November 29, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.