233

Chris Woods: Modus Operandi

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Among the many pleasures of reviewing Jazz is the discovery of recordings such as this one by relatively unknown yet enormously talented players like the late Chris Woods. Modus Operandi was recorded in January 1978, about seven years before Woods’ death. Our hat is off to Delmark for reissuing the session, which cooks agreeably from start to finish. It consists of four original compositions by Woods and one (“Modus Operandi”) by Ernie Wilkins with alternate takes of three to raise the playing time to a respectable 62:52. Woods, who played in a number of bands whose music was labeled R&B, and recorded only once under his own name before this ( Somebody Done Stole My Blues, also on Delmark), sounds a bit like Sonny Red or Lou Donaldson on alto, while his dark baritone reminds me of Cecil Payne. He plays alto on “Modus,” “What That” and “Scufflin’ Along,” baritone on “Monsieur Le Boit,” flute on the ballad “My Lady.” Woods shares the limelight generously with trumpeter Bobulinski, an able technician whose solos, even though derivative, are always easy on the ear. The first 40 seconds or so of “Modus Operandi” is especially interesting, as it sounds like a warm–up (the way horns and rhythm get the kinks out and make sure they’re in tune) before Boyd’s ride cymbal sets the tempo and everyone gets down to the business at hand, which is bop–based Jazz that swings hard and often. If there’s a downside it dwells in the recording quality, second–rate even for 1978, which does McNeely’s tinkly piano no favors and makes Wilson’s bass solo on “What That” sound almost like — believe it or not — a tuba. On the other hand, there’s no surface noise to remind one that this was once on vinyl. A note to Delmark: If you have more wonderful treasures like this one sequestered in your vaults, bring ’em on!

Track listing: Modus Operandi; Monsieur Le Bois in Paris; What That; My Lady; Scufflin’ Along; Modus Operandi (alt.); Monsieur Le Bois in Paris (alt.); What That (alt.) (62:52).

Personnel:

Chris Woods, alto and baritone sax, flute; Greg Bobulinski, trumpet, flugelhorn; Jim McNeely, piano; Roland Wilson, bass; Curtis Boyd, drums.

| Record Label: Delmark Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Play All the Notes" CD/LP/Track Review Play All the Notes
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 8, 2016
Read "El Toro" CD/LP/Track Review El Toro
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "Skronky Tonk" CD/LP/Track Review Skronky Tonk
by James Nadal
Published: June 18, 2016
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Down Memory Lane 2 / Down Memory Lane Vol. 3, The Power Package" CD/LP/Track Review Down Memory Lane 2 / Down Memory Lane Vol. 3, The Power Package
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review Outlier
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 1, 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!