157

Jake Fryer / Bud Shank Quartet: In Good Company

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Jake Fryer / Bud Shank Quartet: In Good Company Jake Fryer second recording, In Good Company, finds the British alto saxophonist recording in San Diego with fellow altoist Bud Shank and his rhythm section. Fryer's previous release, On Our Terms (Nuts About Jazz, 2008), was the live debut of the London Bebop Collective; Fryer also leads the Jake Fryer Quartet and is part of the Little Big Band.

With two saxophonists in front, it is not surprising that this turns out to be a blowing session in the main. But pianist Mike Wofford makes a considerable presence as well—not only with his rhythmic drive, but also with his melodically inspired interludes.

Shank, who died the day after this recording was completed, leads on all tracks. His tone is occasionally thin and he wavers on the long notes—understandable, given the circumstances. What is more crucial is that he still manifests enough of the gentle tenderness and the heated phrases that were the hallmarks of his playing.

"Caravan" and "Bopping With Bud" underscore Fryer and Shank's approach, blowing hard and torrid without losing their grip on emotional drive. Shank ups the drive after bassist Bob Magnusson sets up the head on a slow groove. He jets into the upper register before extrapolating the melody and completing the drive. Confident in his approach and unafraid of challenge, Fryer is no slouch either, as he bends and shapes the tune to add some interesting textures. Both settle into bright tonality as they exchange phrases and then ride out into the open, with focused abandon during their solo spots.

Adept at bebop, Fryer also has considerable charm on ballads. On "Almost Like Being in Love," he lopes across the melody, augmenting it with emphatic dips before letting an oscillating pulse seep in. He gets some fine support from a rhythm section that is well-oiled, but never slick. Wofford is lissome, an articulate diviner of mood and rhythm whose ideas illuminate the song. Here, he characterizes the tune with a delectable sense of direction, his sense of expression central to the nectar of the melody. This is just the right atmosphere for Shank, who is in his element: warm, tender and irresistible. Together they turn this into one of the highlights of this CD.

Fryer has put together all the right ingredients, from the band makeup to track selections that include originals and standards, making In Good Company an eventful outing.

Track Listing: Caravan; Bopping With Bud; Agnieszka; Tip Top and Tickety Boo; Breaking Loose; The Time Lord; Almost Like Being in Love; In Good Company; Speak Low.

Personnel: Jake Fryer: alto saxophone; Bud Shank: alto saxophone; Mike Wofford: piano; Bob Magnusson: bass; Joe La Barbera: drums.

Title: In Good Company | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Capri Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Okuden
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: June 1, 2017
Read "Fourtune" CD/LP/Track Review Fourtune
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Sunday Night At The Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review Sunday Night At The Vanguard
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 18, 2016
Read "Les Deux Versants Se Regardent" CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Traffic" CD/LP/Track Review Traffic
by Dave Wayne
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "Up Go We" CD/LP/Track Review Up Go We
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 4, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.