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Joel Frahm and Bruce Katz: Project A

Read "Project A" reviewed by Marcia Hillman

Tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm has teamed up with pianist/organist Bruce Katz for Project A, a tribute to Aretha Franklin and containing material with which she is associated. Although Frahm's foundation is jazz, there is a soul-filled side of him that enjoys working with the likes of Katz, renowned for his work with the Allman Brothers Band. The pair are joined by Chris Vitarello (guitar), Marty Ballou (acoustic bass), Jerry Jemmott (electric bass), Lorne Entress and Ralph Rosen (drums), with baritone ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Joel Frahm & Bruce Katz at The Jazz Standard, NYC

Read "Joel Frahm & Bruce Katz at The Jazz Standard, NYC" reviewed by Ernest Barteldes

Joel Frahm and Bruce KatzJazz Standard New York, New York September 1, 2009

In celebration of the release of Project A (Anzic Records), co-bandleaders Joel Frahm (tenor saxophone) and Bruce Katz (piano, B3 and Wurlitzer) took the stage at the famed Manhattan jazz club to showcase what they described as “a jazz re-reading" of the music of Aretha Franklin.

The band started as a quintet with the two leaders backed by Chris Vitarello (electric ...

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Joel Frahm / Bruce Katz: Project A

Read "Project A" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Joel Frahm and Bruce Katz's Project A is not a codename for a scientific research program or some covert operation, but, instead, a finger-snapping, toe-tapping tribute to the original Queen of Soul, singer Aretha Franklin. Frahm, a superlative saxophonist who has worked with Maynard Ferguson, Brad Mehldau and Kurt Rosenwinkel, is joined by Bruce Katz, a master Hammond B3 player and pianist, who is well known in R&B, blues and rock circles, having performed with Gregg Allman ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Irene Atman and Daniela Schachter meet at the Intersection of Joel Frahm

Read "Irene Atman and Daniela Schachter meet at the Intersection of Joel Frahm" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Nowhere in jazz is the soil so rich as it is in the area of female vocals. Major label, independents, melting pots and old school, there are vocal releases appealing to any persnickety taste. Such a diverse marketplace is to the fortune of the listening public. This fortune is magnified when two dramatically different singers share a common denominator: in the cases of Irene Atman and Daniela Schachter that common denominator is New York tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm on the ...

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Joel Frahm: We Used To Dance

Read "We Used To Dance" reviewed by Geoff Mirelowitz

Joel Frahm is a big, gentle looking man with a big, warm sound on the tenor saxophone. On We Used To Dance, he reunites with pianist Kenny Barron, with whom Frahm studied at the Rutgers University jazz program. Frahm has also enlisted the services of the rest of the rhythm section that contributed so much to the later recordings of Stan Getz: bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Victor Lewis. The result is a solid disc of outstanding music. ...

PODCAST

Joel Frahm: The Focused Chameleon

Read "Joel Frahm: The Focused Chameleon" reviewed by Jason Crane

Jason Crane interviews saxophonist Joel Frahm. Frahm is one of the busiest saxophonists on the scene today. You'll find him on recordings with pianist Brad Mehldau, vocalist Jane Monheit, trumpeter Avishai Cohen, drummers Matt Wilson and Pete Zimmer, and the Waverly 7. His fourth record as a leader, We Used To Dance (Anzic Records, 2007), brings together a classic rhythm section that played with Stan Getz on some of his final recordings: pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Rufus ...

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Joel Frahm: We Used to Dance

Read "We Used to Dance" reviewed by Jim Santella

Working with pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Victor Lewis on a straight-ahead jazz session would be a real treat for anyone. It turns out to be especially fruitful for tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm, who delivers this program of standards and originals with an artist's delicate touch. The proud owner of a rich, luxurious tone, the saxophonist interprets ballads, blues and up-tempo romps with clarity while swinging in a rhythmic groove when the situation permits. He and this ...

INTERVIEWS

Joel Frahm's Musical Reunion

Read "Joel Frahm's Musical Reunion" reviewed by Ed Trefzger

Joel Frahm's Don't Explain is just one of many reunions between the saxophonist and his high school classmate, pianist Brad Mehldau.

The recording was a natural next step after the two reunited for two concerts to raise money for the nationally-known music program at their alma mater, William H. Hall High School, in West Hartford, Conn.

“I asked Brad if he would be interested in doing a charity concert," said Frahm in a recent interview, “and he said, 'Yeah'. The ...

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Joel Frahm with Brad Mehldau: Don

Read "Don" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Jazz in small spaces is always provocative: the smaller the band, the greater in intimacy. That is not to say that the solo performance is the most intimate setting for jazz, though. The solo performance is by its very nature dense and narcissistic. While certainly emotional, solitude is not about interaction between musicians, only action and reaction of musician and instrument. This circumstance is very well illustrated in pianist Bill Evans' two solo recordings for Milestone, Solo Sessions, Volume 1 ...

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Joel Frahm: Don't Explain

Read "Don't Explain" reviewed by Jim Santella

Together, Joel Frahm and Brad Mehldau interpret six jazz standards, one familiar Ornette Coleman fixture, one memorable pop classic, and one original composition. Each piece is delivered with a straightforward approach, keeping the central melody in focus while venturing just a bit off the beaten path to express personal feelings about the subject. Frahm moves fluidly through his instruments' ranges, flipping keys as fast as necessary in order to have his say. Mehldau provides a warm backdrop for the saxophonist ...

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Joel Frahm: The Navigator

Read "The Navigator" reviewed by David Adler

Joel Frahm’s second Palmetto release again features the fabulous pianist David Berkman, who contributed four of the album’s 10 tracks. Scott Colley and Billy Drummond lay down the rhythm on this terrific set, which also includes four of Frahm’s originals, a no-frills “My One and Only Love," and a soul-style tune by Matt Wilson titled “Hymn for Don Cherry."Frahm’s tenor sound is big, his improvisations aggressive and content-rich. Berkman outranks him as a composer, however. Only a superior ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joel Frahm: The Navigator

Read "The Navigator" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Joel Frahm’s second disc as leader has all the trappings of a John Coltrane legacy recording. Sure that’s a heavy burden, but one he proves worthy. Like his 1999 disc Sorry, No Decaf, Frahm mines hard-bop with a self-admission (like Coltrane) that he is not comfortable on up-tempo tunes. Fine, grace not speed signifies great art. Take his version of “My One And Only Love,” the mind jumps directly to Johnny Hartman March 7, 1963 singing the same song alongside ...


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