161

Joel Frahm: Sorry, No Decaf

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Joel Frahm, an eloquent young post–bopper, reminds me of another of my favorite up–and–coming young lions, the irrepressible Eric Alexander, who reminds me of George Coleman, who reminds me of Dexter Gordon, who reminds me of . . . well, you get the picture — and it’s an almost unbroken lineal progression from bop’s unsophisticated roots to today’s more openhanded expression of the language. Frahm, however, adds another component, the soprano saxophone, which he maneuvers commendably on two of his five compositions, “Elroy Sparta” and “Sorry, No Decaf.” Pianist Berkman adds a treatise of his own, “Interesting Perhaps, But Hardly Fascinating Rhyhm,” to complement Mal Waldron’s “Soul Eyes” and the standards “Laura” and “Pennies from Heaven” (with Berkman laying out on “Pennies” and “Decaf”). Frahm chose his companions with care, and Berkman, Weiss and Wilson form a wide–awake and supportive rhythm section. While the original compositions are respectable (and Frahm’s cooker, “ Smokin’ Joel,” which opens the session, is a shade above that), none can measure up to “Soul Eyes” or the well–worn garments from Hollywood (“Laura”) or Tin Pan Alley (“Pennies”). In fact, the sensuous “Laura,” on which Frahm plays with undisguised passion and Berkman, a convincing solo voice throughout, is at his most expressive, is arguably the disc’s crowning point. On the other hand, one has to admire the way Frahm whips up a Trane–sized firestorm on “Smokin’ Joel,” gracefully amplifies the beauty in “Soul Eyes” and cheerfully expends those “Pennies from Heaven.” Even though Frahm says nothing we haven’t heard before, he’s an engaging speaker who knows how to ensnare one’s attention and keep it from wandering.

Track listing: Smokin’ Joel; Elroy Sparta; 100 Years in Motion; Interesting Perhaps, But Hardly Fascinating Rhythm; Song for a New Day; Laura; Sorry, No Decaf; Soul Eyes; Pennies from Heaven (49:53).


Personnel:

Joel Frahm, tenor, soprano saxophone; David Berkman, piano; Doug Weiss, bass; Matt Wilson, drums.

Contact: Palmetto Records, 71 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011 (phone 800

Title: Sorry, No Decaf | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Palmetto Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "In Layers" CD/LP/Track Review In Layers
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Live At Jazzhus Montmartre" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Jazzhus Montmartre
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 31, 2017
Read "8th Window" CD/LP/Track Review 8th Window
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: April 11, 2017
Read "Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 7, 2017
Read "Chapter Five" CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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