Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

99

Fred Hess Band: How 'Bout Now

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Fred Hess says that after four recordings with a quartet, he wanted to change the makeup of his group, so he added a horn: cornet player Ron Miles. The music grooves, even as Hess chooses the groove in different ways. He takes his compositions along divergent paths. There is no gainsaying which way a tune will go, which recesses it will duck into, what plateau it will rise from, or which music it will dwell on. All make valid and definitive points.

Hess serves notice right from the opening track, but the next three, which combine to make "Sweet for Susie, provide an incontrovertible body of evidence. "Sooz Blooz is a romping blues, the horns locked in an opening embrace before Hess comes on strong with the tenor saxophone. A slew of ideas tumble from his horn and strike Miles, who blazes his own avenue—spurred by Matt Wilson, whose drumming creates entrancing filigrees, and Ken Filiano, who scampers on the bass and adds an irresistible solo.

The mood changes on "Song for Susan as Hess lays a plaintive line. The interaction between Hess and altoist Mark Harris, with Filiano playing arco, is stunning in its empathy. The final segment, "Scarlett's Dance, goes through movements of its own as the quintet changes direction and pulse—a little bop, a classical air, a flamboyant arch that stretches into some free blowing from Hess, and some snappy alto from Harris completing the circle.

Hess comes in swinging on "B. Quick, which goes on to suppleness in tandem with the other horns. But as he has shown, Hess is not content to let predictability shape the course of his music, and he goes off in a tangent of cogent ideas which alter the dynamics and roam the highway of free expression. This piece is also a showcase for Wilson, whose eloquence crafts time and rhythm.

Even as Hess asks how 'bout now, the answer may well be how 'bout any time.

Visit Fred Hess on the web.


Track Listing: How 'Bout Now; Sooz Blooz; Song for Susan; Scarlett's dance; Finding the Evidence; The Clef's Ski Vacation; Opposites Attract; Gathering Moss; In the Moment; B. Quick.

Personnel: Fred Hess: tenor saxophone; Ron Miles: cornet; Mark Harris: alto saxophone; Ken Filiano: bass; Matt Wilson: drums.

Title: How 'Bout Now | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Tapestry

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Not Bound CD/LP/Track Review Not Bound
by Don Phipps
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "Fun with Notes" CD/LP/Track Review Fun with Notes
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere" CD/LP/Track Review Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere
by Mike Jacobs
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "The Busker" CD/LP/Track Review The Busker
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 30, 2017
Read "Hourglass" CD/LP/Track Review Hourglass
by Paul Rauch
Published: May 18, 2017
Read "Peaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack Tempchin" CD/LP/Track Review Peaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack Tempchin
by Doug Collette
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "The Django Experiment I & II" CD/LP/Track Review The Django Experiment I & II
by Peter Jurew
Published: April 2, 2017