The Trombone Kings: Joe Wulf Meets Dan Barrett, George Masso, Roy Williams

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Trombone Kings: Joe Wulf Meets Dan Barrett, George Masso, Roy Williams In December 1999, four world-class trombonists presented a spectacular concert at the Beethovenhalle in Bonn, Germany, and a few weeks later they gathered in a nearby studio to record this equally impressive album of colorful mainstream Jazz. The ringleader, Joe Wulf, hails from Germany; his playing partners are Englishman Roy Williams and two Americans, Dan Barrett and George Masso. With help from saxophonists Pierre Paquette and Hans Zähringer, trumpeter Peter Lange and a congenial rhythm section they underscore the exhilarating range of the trombone in a program consisting of three standards, captivating tunes by Buck Clayton, Duke Ellington and Count Basie, and eight well-drawn compositions by Wulf.

Did I mention that they swing? Indeed that's true — but it would be hard not to swing when one is being poked and prodded by the likes of pianist Christian Nemet, bassist Bert Thompson and drummer Will Lindfors, who collectively keep the engine revved up and firing on all cylinders. In the main, however, the 'bone-meisters simply sound great, muted or open, growling or purring, shouting or whispering, alone or in tandem. Barrett and Wulf are especially persuasive on back-to-back takes of Ellington's "Just Squeeze Me," employing an assortment of mutes and other techniques to illustrate the variations in tone and temperament that accentuate the trombone's charm.

As for the album's "elder statesmen," Williams is outstanding on "Blues for My Baby" and "The Only Girl for Me," Masso likewise on "Girl," "Noodles and Slides," "Blowin" the Blues" and Basie's "The King." Besides "Squeeze Me," Wulf and Barrett are paired on Buck Clayton's "Cookin" Joe," on which Nemet, a new name to me, takes the first of his several ear-opening solos. Thompson has some quality moments on "Blues for My Baby" and "I Want to Be Alone," as does Lindfors on "Noodles and Slides" and "The King." Wulf "sings" twice (think Jimmy Rowles or Mose Allison), on "Blame It on My Youth" and "East of the Sun," with Barrett and Nemet soloing on "Youth," trumpeter Lange on "Sun." Paquette and Zähringer add weight to the ensemble and solo capably when their number is called, with Paquette (alto) featured on "I've Seen It in Your Eyes," Zähringer (with Thompson) on "I Want to Be Alone." Barrett scored the two takes of "Squeeze Me" and Wulf arranged everything else.

Trombone kings? Well, there are many claimants to that particular crown, but few with more formidable dossiers than Messrs. Wulf, Barrett and Masso. They certainly perform regally here, and their prismatic artistry warrants a deep and heartfelt bow if not an immediate coronation ceremony.

Contact: www.jazzmusik.de ; e-mail info@jazzmusik.de .

Track Listing: Cookin? Joe; In the Darkness; Blues for My Baby; Noodles & Slides; Blame It on My Youth; Blowin? the Blues; Just Squeeze Me (take 1); Just Squeeze Me (take 2); The Only Girl for Me; East of the Sun; For Susie and Bud; I?ve Seen It in Your Eyes; I Want to Be Alone; The King; This Is All I Ask (64:49).

Personnel: Joe Wulf, trombone, vocals; Dan Barrett, George Masso, Roy Williams, trombone; Pierre Paquette, alto sax, clarinet; Hans Z

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: MEP | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


More Articles

Read Pathways CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Landing CD/LP/Track Review Landing
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Words And Music CD/LP/Track Review Words And Music
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Faces CD/LP/Track Review Faces
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves CD/LP/Track Review Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves
by Duncan Heining
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Wolf Valley" CD/LP/Track Review Wolf Valley
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 18, 2016
Read "Nine Thoughts For One Word" CD/LP/Track Review Nine Thoughts For One Word
by John Ephland
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Alive" CD/LP/Track Review Alive
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 15, 2016
Read "Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge" CD/LP/Track Review Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin at Morey Baker’s...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Juxtaposition" CD/LP/Track Review Juxtaposition
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 9, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus


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!