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 Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Revelation" CD/LP/Track Review Revelation
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "Sélébéyone" CD/LP/Track Review Sélébéyone
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 7, 2016
Read "In Love With" CD/LP/Track Review In Love With
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: July 25, 2016
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2017
Read "Ubuntu" CD/LP/Track Review Ubuntu
by James Nadal
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "Positive Changes" CD/LP/Track Review Positive Changes
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 29, 2016

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!