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Album Review

Martin Wind Quartet: My Astorian Queen

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Martin Wind Quartet: My Astorian Queen
Bassist Martin Wind reminds us that "nostalgia" is not a four-letter word (or nine-letter for that matter). Wind would say, "nein" to that idea. The German-born bassist, now a solid member of New York's jazz community, can be heard in piano trios led by Bill Mays, Ted Rosenthal, and Bill Cunliffe, in drummer Matt Wilson's various projects, and in a duo with Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine, to name just a few ensembles in which he is THE in-demand sideman. As a leader himself, Wind has released two dozen sessions, mostly evolving around his musical friends and neighbours. My Astorian Queen is no exception.

This recording is an affectionate reminiscence of the bassist's quarter century in the New York scene. The disc opens with an uncomplicated version of Thad Jones' "Mean What You Say" told in a piano jazz trio format (with Mays and Wilson) plus multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson first on trumpet, then tenor saxophone. Wind has laid out this recording as a retelling of his NY adventures from the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra to his teaching career and life with his partner Maria, "My Astorian Queen." Along the way he draws on memories and music from his past. Mays' "Peace Waltz" opens with Wind's bowed bass which leads into the sweetness of his duo with the pianist. As this is a retrospective on New York, we are treated to an animated take on "Broadway" which features Robinson blowing notes on his bass saxophone. That sound, which is as deep as the canyons of Manhattan can also be heard as the coda to "È Precio Perduar," a Brazilian song made famous by Joao Gilberto and Stan Getz. What is evident here is that Wind has an immaculate tone, and a flawless approach to interpreting music. His original composition "My Astorian Queen" features his bass voice and (dare I say) should be nominated as a modern standard. The session ends with a Wind-Wilson retelling of the much clichéd "New York, New York." The pair take the banal out of the hackneyed, and turn it into a comedic parody.

Track Listing

Mean What You Say; Solitude; Broadway; Peace Waltz; È Precio Perduar; Out In P.A.; My Astorian Queen; There’s A Boat Leaving Soon For New York; New York, New York.

Personnel

Martin Wind: bass, acoustic; Bill Mays: piano; Scott Robinson: saxophone, baritone; Matt Wilson: drums.

Album information

Title: My Astorian Queen | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: LAIKA Records

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