The references to Joe Henderson in the liner notes to Wayne de Silva’s CD, First Morning,
aren’t misplaced; the young tenor saxophonist often mirrors Henderson’s temperament, both in spirit and in substance. On the other hand, he’s definitely no clone, using Henderson’s substructure as a springboard for his fresh improvisational concepts. The similarities between them are most apparent on the slower numbers, of which there are basically five (the program alternates roughly from fast to slow — or medium — with the odd–numbered selections in the former camp). The quartet charges boldly from the gate with Cedar Walton’s “Black,” slows the pace for Michel Legrand’s “You Must Believe in Spring,” then welcomes guest soloist Marvin Stamm for an arresting flugel lesson on “203,” the first of de Silva’s three compositions (the others are “A Short Life,” again featuring Stamm, and “First Morning”). The ghost of Henderson reappears on the standard “Easy Living,” which precedes Jaco Pastorius’ “Dania” and “A Short Life.” Larry Young wrote the funky blues / waltz “Tyrone,” Cole Porter “My Heart Belongs to Daddy,” which de Silva recasts into a gently swaying samba. Karlsson, who’s always a pleasure to hear, delivers another of his engaging solos on “First Morning,” which veers between waltz and bossa, and he and de Silva save more of their best work for last with persuasive commentary on the J. Fred Coots standard, “For All We Know.” Karlsson, Warrington and Zigmund are, as always, dependable as a Swiss watch, and Warrington adds perceptive statements on “Tyrone,” “Daddy” and “First Morning.” When all is said and done there’s simply too much talent to go around, and a great many accomplished Jazz musicians such as de Silva and his colleagues will most likely remain unknown to the public at large. But they keep on scuffling in the trenches, stubbornly refusing to give up the dream, and for that we should be thankful.
Contact: TNC Jazz, 1350 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89119. Phone 702–457–3823; fax 702–457–0199. Web site, www.tncmusic.net; e–mail firstname.lastname@example.org