Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

3

L.A. Six: Frame of Mind

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Once upon a time ('way back in the 1970s-80s) there was the peerless L.A. Four (Bud Shank, Laurindo Almeida, Ray Brown, Shelly Manne) and now we have the L.A. Six, another hard-swinging post-bop ensemble that has chosen to walk in some rather large shoes by recording a splendid debut album, Frame of Mind. With Tom Peterson assuming Shank's role as lead saxophonist, the front line has been expanded to include trumpeter Clay Jenkins and trombonist Ira Nepus, ably supported by a top-rank rhythm section (pianist Rich Eames, bassist Jeff D'Angelo, drummer Dick Weller).

L.A. of course is unmistakably Los Angeles, and the musicians who comprise the L.A. Six are among the best that area of the country has to offer, earnest successors to such giants as Art Pepper, Shorty Rogers, Gerry Mulligan, Bob Cooper, Frank Rosolino, Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Claude Williamson, Jimmy Giuffre, Lou Levy, Conte Candoli, Bill Holman, Chico Hamilton, Russ Freeman and the many other pioneers of West Coast jazz, not to mention the members of the seminal L.A. Four. While the rapport and musicianship of the Six is impressive, the charts (five written by Eames, four by Peterson, one each by Jenkins and Weller) are no less so, bringing out the best in four standards, two originals by Eames ("Sight Seen at Twilight," "The Elms") and others by Jenkins, Weller, Sonny Stitt, Steve Strazzeri and Oliver Nelson.

Any group that opens with Stitt's chops-twisting "Eternal Triangle" surely means business, and the Six readily earn their spurs on that one before moving on to Eames' "Twilight," Weller's "Wonder Where You Are" and Mack Gordon / Harry Warren's winsome standard, "I Wish I Knew," taken at a brisker pace than usual in Eames' charming arrangement. Jenkins wrote the ballad "Love Is Kind," which precedes Burton Lane / Ralph Freed's "How About You" and Eames' "The Elms." "You're My Thrill," once marvelously played by one of Manne's sextets, is followed by Strazzeri's lyrical "Frame of Mind," Leo Robin / Ralph Rainger's "If I Should Lose You" and Nelson's bluesy finale, "Yearnin.'"

The ensemble, as noted, is close-knit, the soloists bracing and resourceful within their normal comfort zone. It's especially gratifying to hear Jenkins in a straight-ahead format (dig his ardent solo on "How About You"). As drummer Peter Erskine notes in a brief commentary: "Tom Peterson has put together a collection of music and musicians that refreshingly recalls the best of West Coast jazz while pointing toward future horizons. Bravo." Well said, Peter.

Track Listing: The Eternal Triangle; Sight Seen at Twilight; Wonder Where You Are; I Wish I Knew; Love Is Kind; How About You; The Elms; You’re My Thrill; Frame of Mind; If I Should Lose You; Yearnin’.

Personnel: Clay Jenkins: trumpet; Tom Peterson: tenor sax; Ira Nepus: trombone; Rich Eames: piano; Jeff D’Angelo: bass; Dick Weller: drums.

Title: Frame of Mind | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Jazzed Media


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bricks CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Collection Three: Spells (2014-2015)" CD/LP/Track Review Collection Three: Spells (2014-2015)
by Jim Olin
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "The Quest: Live at the A.P.C." CD/LP/Track Review The Quest: Live at the A.P.C.
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Dedication" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "The Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review The Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "I Try To Remember Where I Come From" CD/LP/Track Review I Try To Remember Where I Come From
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 30, 2017
Read "Out Of Silence" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of Silence
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 17, 2017

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!