Rob Thorsen Quartet: EvolutionBy
When he was 18, bassist Rob Thorson began playing in San Francisco blues and street bands. Over the next several years, he was exposed to the artistry of numerous jazz musicians, including Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Horace Silver, and Joe Henderson. Since completing a seven-month gig on a cruise ship and moving to San Diego in 1990, Thorsen has played with such luminaries as James Moody, Laurindo Almeida, Louis Bellson, Jon Hendricks, Mark Murphy, and Bucky Pizzarelli.
He currently leads his own group several times weekly and plays regularly with the Gilbert Castellanos Quartet and the Holly Hofmann/Mike Wofford Quartet. Wofford, to my mind a considerably underrated pianist, appears with Thorsen here, and the arresting Hofmann appears on one track, Jobim’s hauntingly beautiful “Mojave.”
This quartet outing provides an overall satisfying musical experience. The playlist is varied and eclectic, but each of the tunes selected seems to fit effortlessly into a seamless whole. The original opener (called “Wood You?” by Thorsen, despite the other spelling on the CD) is up-tempo, a bop line based on the changes of Gillespie’s “Woody n’ You” and featuring Manning’s sterling tenor solo. “Besame Mucho” highlights Thorsen’s arco bass. A Latin beat and an interesting harmonic interlude endow Arlen’s “Let’s Fall in Love” with just the right spice.
“Disarray” is a brief original tone poem for bass and tenor sax that is less chaotic than its name suggests. Two less-familiar Billy Strayhorn compositions grace the set: the first, a classic blues; the second, an elegant, gently swinging trio delicacy, in which Thorsen and Wofford share the spotlight. Monk’s “Evidence” introduces Kenyatta on the soprano sax and provides Wofford and Mason with opportunities to sparkle; the quirky composition inserts just the proper tang into the mix.
The album concludes with two more Thorsen originals. The first is a lop-eared blues with the refreshing title “Blues Clues,” which provides delightful solos all around, a portion of Wofford’s being unaccompanied. Finally, “Sad Guy” is a pensive minor/major study in 6/8 time, mysterious, compelling, and bound to leave a fellow wanting more.
Visit www.azica.com .
Would (Wood) You? Besame Mucho; Let
Rob Thorsen (bass); Chuck Manning (tenor sax), Holly Hofmann (flute), or Kamau Kenyatta (soprano sax); Mike Wofford (piano); and Duncan Moore or Harold Mason (drums)
Title: Evolution | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Azica Records
Post a comment about this album
FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZAll About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
WE NEED YOUR HELPTo expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.
About Rob Thorsen
Instrument: BassArticle Coverage | Calendar | Albums | Photos | Similar Artists