All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Ben Wolfe: The Whisperer

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
You can always gauge a bassist-led recording by the players he attracts on the bandstand or in the studio. Proof of this premise is Ben Wolfe's latest, The Whisperer. Just like Charles Mingus had his Jaki Byard, Booker Ervin, and Dannie Richmond, and Dave Holland his Craig Taborn, Kevin Eubanks, and Eric Harland, Wolfe is also a magnet for talent. His past recordings featured Ned Goold and Joe Magnarelli on Murray's Cadillac (Amosaya Music, 2000), Branford Marsalis and Terell Stafford on No Strangers Here (MaxJazz, 2008). His previous release From Here I See (MaxJazz, 2013) featured pianist Orrin Evans, drummer Donald Edwards and saxophonist JD Allen. With the exception of Stacy Dillard replacing Allan, the same lineup returns here. Each of Wolfe's sidemen are distinguished band leaders themselves, and each has released noteworthy music recently.

Wolfe's quartet shines navigating the twelve tracks here, which include eleven original compositions by the bassist, and Jerome Kern's now-jazz standard "All The Things You Are." Wolfe favors ballads, and Dillard's saxophone abides throughout. He delivers the most gentle touch on "Hat In Hand" with a luscious soprano take that is echoed by Orrin Evan's piano. "Love Is Near" conveys a sensual message via Dillard's tenor, the wee small hours brushwork of Edwards, and a reserved piano and bass. If their approach was less than honest, the melancholy mood of "If Only" wouldn't work. Clearly it does. Wolfe is a patient storyteller.

When the band does turn up the burners on tracks like "Chronos," a complex funky swinger and the devilishly hip title track, the cohesion of the quartet is evident. Same for "S.T.F.U." where trumpeter Josh Evans joins the quartet. Their controlled zeal conjures a vision of the players in Brooks Brothers suits, ties now appropriately undone.

Track Listing: Heroist; Hat In Hand; Community; Love Is Near; S.T.F.U.; Camelot's Lean; Chronos; All The Things You Are; The Whisperer; Becoming Brothers; The Balcony; If Only.

Personnel: Ben Wolfe: bass; Orrin Evans: piano; Stacy Dillard: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Donald Edwards: drums; Josh Evans: trumpet (5).

Title: The Whisperer | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The Whisperer

The Whisperer

Posi-Tone Records

My Kinda Beautiful

My Kinda Beautiful

Planet Arts Records

My Kinda Beautiful

My Kinda Beautiful

Planet Arts Records


Related Articles

Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read All Melody CD/LP/Track Review
All Melody
by Phil Barnes
Published: March 23, 2018
Read The Future is Female CD/LP/Track Review
The Future is Female
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Hunters & Scavengers CD/LP/Track Review
Hunters & Scavengers
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow CD/LP/Track Review
Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Transatlantic CD/LP/Track Review
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 22, 2018
Read "Daddy Said So" CD/LP/Track Review Daddy Said So
by Jim Worsley
Published: March 2, 2018
Read "Time/Life:Songs For The Whales And Other Beings" CD/LP/Track Review Time/Life:Songs For The Whales And Other Beings
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 17, 2017
Read "The Answer Is No" CD/LP/Track Review The Answer Is No
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 28, 2017
Read "Jondo" CD/LP/Track Review Jondo
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "While We Still Have Bodies" CD/LP/Track Review While We Still Have Bodies
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 23, 2018
Read "A Night Walking Through Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Barry Witherden
Published: September 21, 2017