Jazz Articles | Future

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ben Wolfe: The Whisperer

Read "The Whisperer" reviewed by

While swimming in the rather large body of sounds that comprise the jazz mainstream, Ben Wolfe's The Whisperer evinces no obvious stylistic points of reference or influence, possesses unusual depth, and adds up to something larger and more significant than a composite of impressive individual performances. Wolfe's compositions--eleven out of the disc's twelve tracks--comprise the record's core. He crafts melodies that are familiar in a good way, and encases them in tightly knit, logical, non-standard forms. There's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ben Wolfe: The Whisperer

Read "The Whisperer" reviewed by

You can always gauge a bassist-led recording by the players he attracts on the bandstand or in the studio. Proof of this premise is Ben Wolfe's latest, The Whisperer. Just like Charles Mingus had his Jaki Byard, Booker Ervin, and Dannie Richmond, and Dave Holland his Craig Taborn, Kevin Eubanks, and Eric Harland, Wolfe is also a magnet for talent. His past recordings featured Ned Goold and Joe Magnarelli on Murray's Cadillac (Amosaya Music, 2000), Branford Marsalis and Terell Stafford ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ben Wolfe: The Whisperer

Read "The Whisperer" reviewed by

Ben Wolfe is the man responsible for double bass duties for some of the most popular names in jazz. As well as his six previous albums as leader, in a recording career that extends back to the '80s Wolfe can also be heard on a fist-full of recordings by Harry Connick Jr, Diana Krall and Wynton Marsalis among others. What keeps him gainfully employed by some of the jazz world's biggest hitters? The Whisperer, a superb combination of great tunes ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ben Wolfe Quintet: Live at Small's

Read "Live at Small's" reviewed by

Ben Wolfe is a commanding presence beside the gravitational weight of his bass violin. On Live at Smalls, Wolfe brings something of the fabled Charles Mingus' authority and leadership to his own quintet. It had to be so; Wolfe undertakes to have four towering individualists interpret the charts performed on this date at the club that is now becoming all the rage of Greenwich Village, NYC. Pianist Luis Perdomo, somewhat better-known for his tumbao, is heard here negotiating the knife ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ben Wolfe Quintet: Live at Smalls

Read "Live at Smalls" reviewed by

In New York City, there's a popular venue known as Smalls Jazz Club. The Ben Wolfe Quintet introduces a series of performance recordings, simply titled Smalls Live. A Baltimore native, Wolfe's professional associations include Wynton Marsalis, Harry Connick Jr. and Diana Krall. He is currently a faculty member at Julliard School of Music, Jazz Division. The high-energy, attention-grabbing “Block 11"--one of nine songs, all composed and arranged by Wolfe--begins the set, with Ryan Kisor's blistering ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ben Wolfe: Live At Smalls

Read "Live At Smalls" reviewed by

Smalls jazz club entered the CD market in a big way in 2010, releasing a series of albums documenting live performances at this venerable Greenwich village institution. While Smalls Records already had a hand in showcasing the musicians and scene surrounding this club, Smalls Live is all about presenting the music as it happened on any given night in the club. The label has already released a bounty of brass-lead sessions by the likes of trombonist Steve Davis and trumpeters ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ben Wolfe: No Strangers Here

Read "No Strangers Here" reviewed by

Ever since the seminal Charlie Parker With Strings (Mercury 1950), numerous artists have attempted to add symphonic strings to jazz ensembles. Some have succeeded, but many have failed to capture a proper balance, resulting in string arrangements that sound superfluous.

Bassist Ben Wolfe's fifth album, No Strangers Here, is one example of a successful merger of two worlds--acoustic jazz quartet and classical string quartet. A compelling bassist, Wolfe came to prominence as a sideman for Harry Connick Jr., ...

LIVE REVIEWS

The Ben Wolfe Octet at The Jazz Standard, NYC

Read "The Ben Wolfe Octet at The Jazz Standard, NYC" reviewed by

The Ben Wolfe Octet at The Jazz Standard, NYCThe Jazz StandardNew York City, New YorkJune 4, 2008 Bassist Ben Wolfe took the stage on this night to present music from his new release on MaxJazz, No Strangers Here. As usual for CD release gigs, a lot of press was present as were many friends of the musicians. However, the atmosphere was, for some reason, not one of expectation and excitement, and Wolfe tried to ...

MEGAPHONE

If I can make it here...

Read "If I can make it here..." reviewed by

By Ben Wolfe In late October of 1985 I loaded my car with my string bass, electric bass, Polytone amp, record collection, some cassettes a friend gave me for the drive, a boombox, my clothes, a thermos for the enormous amount of black coffee I would drink, a full-length down jacket which I would use for a blanket when sleeping in my car at night and a pile of blankets that would be my bed in Brooklyn. ...


Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.