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

| Record Label: Palmetto Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Dream Maps" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Maps
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Perihelion" CD/LP/Track Review Perihelion
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 21, 2016
Read "Lab 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Lab 2016
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "The Real Deal" CD/LP/Track Review The Real Deal
by James Nadal
Published: June 12, 2016
Read "Invisible Man" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Man
by Anthony Shaw
Published: June 2, 2016
Read "New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!