3

L.A. Six: Frame of Mind

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
L.A. Six: Frame of Mind 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.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Jazzed Media


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Birdwatching" CD/LP/Track Review Birdwatching
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 5, 2016
Read "Cinema Spiral" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema Spiral
by Troy Collins
Published: October 22, 2016
Read "Jazz Jukebox" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Jukebox
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "More Serious Business" CD/LP/Track Review More Serious Business
by Jeff Winbush
Published: March 6, 2016
Read "Antenna" CD/LP/Track Review Antenna
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Split Kick - Live In Sweden 1972" CD/LP/Track Review Split Kick - Live In Sweden 1972
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 14, 2016

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!

Buy it!