Talkin' on the 'Bone Phone to the Stubborn Old Lady...
Recorded at the Amerika Haus in Hamburg, Just Friends represents the standard jazz fare that the German label Nagel Heyer has come to be known for. This present concert highlights traditional stalwarts George Masso and Ken Peplowski performing chestnuts from the Great American Songbook. There is nothing earthshaking here, just good jazz impeccably performed. Masso has a bright and full-bodied tone, perfectly suited for this straight-down-the-middle slice of music. Ken Peplowski is the perfect reedman for Masso, weaving in and out of the melodies at will. The song choices are not surprising, with the exception of these traditionalists performing (very capably, I might ass) "Blue Monk." From the older side, "On The Alamo" comes off like a radio show featuring Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller in a hypothetical small group performance. The rhythm section is uniformly fine, as are all of the pieces. There is nothing to not recommend this recording to any lover of traditional, mainstream jazz.
Track Listing: You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To; In A Mellow Tone; More Than You Know; Blue Monk; If I Were A Bell; It All Depends On You; Just Friends; I Thought About You; On The Alamo; Three Little Words. (Total Time: 79:34).
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.