358

Dan Block: Solid Sideman

Ken Dryden By

Sign in to view read count


The Andrew Scott Quartet Meets Jon-Erik Kellso & Dan Block
Nostalgia
Sackville
2009


Marty Grosz
Hot Winds, The Classic Sessions
Arbors
2009

Dan Block has worked in a variety of musical settings during his long career and has been a sideman in bands led by Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan and Toshiko Akiyoshi, currently working with Jerry Dodgion's Joy of Sax and the Sultans of Swing.

Guitarist Andrew Scott's guests on the 2008 session Nostalgia include Block (tenor sax and clarinet) and trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso, with his rhythm section of pianist Mark Eisenman, bassist Pat Collins and drummer Joel Haynes. The nine songs are mostly bop pieces based on the chord changes to familiar works. The sauntering treatment of Ben Webster's "Did You Call Her Today" (based upon Ellington's "In a Mellow Tone," itself was derived from "Rose Room") showcases Kellso's delicious muted horn and Block's full-bodied tenor. . There are also pieces now not often played, including a snappy treatment of Barney Kessel's intricate "Vicky's Dream" (see "All the Things You Are"), featuring Block's playful clarinet, and Gigi Gryce's driving "Salute to the Bandbox" (a thinly disguised "I'll Remember April"), with tight ensemble work and hot solos. Finally, Scott contributed the cool "Contrafact," inspired by "(Back Home Again in) Indiana," in which Block incorporates a bit of Pee Wee Russell-like dissonance into the foot-tapping chart.

Block, along with fellow multi-reed player Scott Robinson are founding members of Marty Grosz' Hot Winds, specializing in early jazz and swing; bassist Vince Giordano (also tuba and bass sax) and drummer Rob Garcia round out the band on The Classic Sessions, with trombonist Panic Slim (aka Jim Gicking) as a guest on a few songs. Aside from a swinging take of "Just One of Those Things," most of the songs have fallen into semi-obscurity, despite strong melodies.

There are two intriguing selections. Ellington's "Rent Party Blues" is arranged by Block with him altering between bass clarinet, B-flat clarinet and alto sax while Robinson triples on soprano and baritone saxophones and cornet. Fats Waller composed "Caught" but left no instruction as to tempo or setting, so Grosz arranged it as a drag in the style of Ellington's "The Mooche," with Block featured on alto and clarinet, Robinson on soprano and the leader taking a chorus on banjo. When Grosz isn't singing in his none-too-serious manner reminiscent of Waller, he tends to stay mostly in the background as an instrumentalist. This CD is a refreshing change from the all-too-common menu of standards and played-to-death warhorses that frequently make up dates focusing on early jazz.


Tracks and Personnel

Nostalgia

Tracks: Did You Call Her Today; Hot House; On A Misty Night; Vicky's Dream; Nostalgia; Junior's Soul; Quasimodo; Contrafact; Salute To The Bandbox.

Personnel: Dan Block: clarinet, tenor saxophone; Jon-Erik Kellso: trumpet; Andrew Scott: guitar; Mark Eisenman: piano; Pat Collins: bass; Joel Haynes: drums.

Hot Winds, The Classic Sessions

Tracks: Pardon Me Pretty Baby; Rent Party Blues; Just One of Those Things; I Must Have That Man; Maori; I Just Couldn´t Take It Baby; Wabash Blues; Under a Blanket of Blue; My Blackbirds are Bluebirds Now; Caught; Love and Kisses; Riverside Blues; The Panic Is On; When Buddha Smiles; I Gotta Get Up and Go to Work.

Personnel: Marty Grosz: acoustic guitar, banjo, vocals; Dan Block: clarinet, soprano sax, C-melody sax, baritone sax, cornet, echo cornet, alto horn; Vince Giordano: string bass, tuba, bass sax, vocal; Rob Garcia: drums, glockenspiel; Panic Slim: trombone.


Shop

More Articles

Read Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series Multiple Reviews Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2017
Read 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights Multiple Reviews 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 21, 2017
Read Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa Dos Ventos Multiple Reviews Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 17, 2017
Read Duke Ellington on Storyville Records Multiple Reviews Duke Ellington on Storyville Records
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 20, 2017
Read Lee Morgan On Music Matters Multiple Reviews Lee Morgan On Music Matters
by Greg Simmons
Published: March 6, 2017
Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Montreux Through The Decades: Blues, Soul & Funk Recordings, Part 1" Multiple Reviews Montreux Through The Decades: Blues, Soul & Funk...
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 10, 2016
Read "Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…" Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas" Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!