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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).
Chris Woods, alto and baritone sax, flute; Greg Bobulinski, trumpet, flugelhorn; Jim McNeely, piano; Roland Wilson, bass; Curtis Boyd, drums.
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com