139

Spike Wilner Ensemble: A Blues of Many Colors

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Spike Wilner Ensemble: A Blues of Many Colors 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 I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Harlem CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "The Twilight Fall" CD/LP/Track Review The Twilight Fall
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "Prick of the Litter" CD/LP/Track Review Prick of the Litter
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "One Minute Later" CD/LP/Track Review One Minute Later
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Caipi" CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Lea Áigi" CD/LP/Track Review Lea Áigi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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