143

The Frank Potenza Quartet: The Legacy

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Guitarist Frank Potenza, who was a member of the Gene Harris Quartet from 1996 until the pianist’s untimely death in 2000, has dedicated his second album on Azica Records to his late friend and former employer. Not surprisingly, Potenza’s group sounds much like Harris’s, with pianist Larry Fuller adopting Gene’s crisp, percussive style and swinging almost as aggressively as his role model on every number. The “Harris connection” is further reinforced by bassist Luther Hughes, a member of Gene’s various ensembles for more than thirty years, and Paul Kreibich who worked with Harris for five years and was the last drummer in Gene’s quartet.

Potenza, who has been playing guitar since he was a thirteen-year-old in Providence, RI, met guitarist Joe Pass in the mid-’70s and the two became close friends. Pass looked on Potenza as a protégé, and his influence is easy to discern in Potenza’s smooth, expressive lines and meticulous technique. Like Pass, he’s more scholar than showman, espousing a studious approach that complements perfectly Fuller’s more gregarious statements and robust chordal counterpoint. Potenza and Fuller bring out the best in every song while Hughes and Kreibich calmly take care of business, giving the front-liners a strong and unwavering bedrock on which to improvise.

As for the music, it is top-drawer as well, with four memorable tunes from the Great American Songbook and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Latin standard “Wave” strewn among handsome compositions by Hank Mobley (“Funk in Deep Freeze”), Dexter Gordon (“Fried Bananas”), Jerome Richardson (“Groove Merchant”), Victor Feldman (“Rio”) and Potenza’s :bubbly “Blues for Frank E.,” dedicated to his father who passed away in September ‘02.

Those who admired Gene Harris will no doubt appreciate this warmhearted homage, while everyone else can simply take pleasure in listening to a talented group of Jazz musicians who play with emotion, swing hard and are consistently resourceful.


Track Listing: My Foolish Heart; Funk in Deep Freeze; I Wish I Knew; Wave; A Blues for Frank E; Sweet Georgia Brown; Fried Bananas; Groove Merchant; Rio; Time After Time (52:59).

Personnel: Frank Potenza, guitar; Larry Fuller, piano; Luther Hughes, bass; Paul Kreibich, drums, percussion.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Azica Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read A Dark and Stormy Day CD/LP/Track Review A Dark and Stormy Day
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Pocono Git-Down CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Rímur CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Schönbrunn CD/LP/Track Review Schönbrunn
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "Brooklyn Blowhards" CD/LP/Track Review Brooklyn Blowhards
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 31, 2016
Read "Choice" CD/LP/Track Review Choice
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 9, 2016
Read "Man Made Object" CD/LP/Track Review Man Made Object
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 10, 2016
Read "Checkpoint" CD/LP/Track Review Checkpoint
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 16, 2016
Read "The Roc" CD/LP/Track Review The Roc
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 28, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!