All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


The Fred Hess Band: Single Moment

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Tenor saxophonist Fred Hess has been something of an adventurer with his music. He has not only gone past the obvious in his interpretation of tunes, he has also been unafraid to get into different genres. That he has been successful tells his tale.

Hess adds guitarist Dale Bruning to his tried and true quintet of Ron Miles (trumpet), John Gunther (flute, alto saxophone), Ken Filiano (bass) and Matt Wilson (drums). Bruning infuses a different character to the music with his dynamics, no matter if he is plumb in the middle of the band or in a conversation with Hess with only the listener around.

The music runs an interesting gamut from a soft breathy ballad to a free toss around. There is also a serving of bebop and heady Caribbean rhythm.

Bruning and Hess get down to quiet times on "While My Lady Sleeps." Hess is breathy and eloquent, dipping gently into a phrase to find the little nuances and bring them up to shimmer and dazzle. And as he turns the phrases inside out, Bruning embellishes the tune with chords that descend in gentle complement.

The band loosens fetters for "Return of the Clefs." The constant shift of time and direction presages expectancy. Hess torques his lines, Filiano gets down to some arco and Wilson splatters and colours the beat. They even get down to a marching tempo, though one can well imagine them doing it with the tongue firmly in cheek. It sure is fun to listen to.

The ballad artistry of Hess finds another loquacious home on "Thursday's Theme." With Gunther on flute, the tune breathes with a burning passion. The improvisations are steady and there are no unnecessary fills.

The focus of the band is clear and that is to create music that is both lyrical and exciting. They succeed in no small measure.

Track Listing: Blues For Bonnie Belle; Dancing With Daffodils; Norman's Gold; While My Lady Sleeps; Port O' Call; Thursday's Theme; Out of the Past; Return of the Clefs; Spring Is Here; Single Moment.

Personnel: Fred Hess: tenor saxophone; Ron Miles: trumpet; John Gunther: flute, alto saxophone; Dale Bruning: guitar; Ken Filiano: bass; Matt Wilson: drums.

Title: Single Moment | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Alison


comments powered by Disqus

Blues For Bonnie Belle

Blues For Bonnie Belle

Fred Hess

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles



Hold On

Hold On

Dazzle Recordings


Related Articles

Read Wherever You're Starting From CD/LP/Track Review
Wherever You're Starting From
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery CD/LP/Track Review
Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 21, 2018
Read From Silence to Somewhere CD/LP/Track Review
From Silence to Somewhere
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Never Bet The Devil Your Head CD/LP/Track Review
Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 21, 2018
Read The Questions CD/LP/Track Review
The Questions
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Meerkat Parade CD/LP/Track Review
Meerkat Parade
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 20, 2018
Read "can't believe, won't believe" CD/LP/Track Review can't believe, won't believe
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 14, 2018
Read "Just Left of Center" CD/LP/Track Review Just Left of Center
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 7, 2017
Read "Tandem" CD/LP/Track Review Tandem
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 26, 2018
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 43 - Zurich 1950" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 43 - Zurich 1950
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "Reality" CD/LP/Track Review Reality
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 14, 2017
Read "682/681" CD/LP/Track Review 682/681
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 5, 2017