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Martin Wind Quartet: Turn Out the Stars

Mark Corroto By

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Has an artist ever been characterized as a hopeful romantic? If not, then let us nominate Martin Wind, not as hopeless, but a bullish and inspiring romantic. His quartet and the 36- piece Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana tribute to pianist Bill Evans Turn Out The Stars marries his talents, both as a jazz bassist/bandleader and orchestral arranger.

Besides leading his own quartet, and working in trio with Bill Mays and Matt Wilson, and in the guitar/bass duos with Philip Catherine or Ulf Meyer, Wind is an in-demand sideman featured in multiple projects, including Matt Wilson's Arts & Crafts and bands led by, Ted Nash, Gary Smulyan, and Pete Mills, to name just a few. He released two stellar recordings in 2013, the CD Ulf Meyer and Martin Wind At Orpheus Theater (Laika) and an audiophile LP Remember October 13th (Edition Longplay).

Recorded live at the Theatro Rossini in Pesaro, Italy, Wind's quartet includes his regular partners, saxophonist Scott Robinson and pianist Bill Cunliffe, plus drummer Joe La Barbera, who was Bill Evans' drummer in the pianist's final trio (1978-1980). This homage to Evans is enhanced by the gorgeous and passionate arrangements Wind wrote for conductor Massimo Morganti's orchestra. The disc opens with the title track, an overture in full bloom that gives way to the quartet's recitation of melody with Robinson's saxophone laying down velvety notes. Each piece— such as the spry rendition of "The Days Of Wine And Roses," performed by the quartet or full orchestra—is dexterously accomplished. Wind has the knack for extracting the sweetest juice for each piece written by Evans or written in tribute to the great one. La Barbera's composition "Kind Of Bill" opens with a piano and bowed bass duo, then lingers in that romantic atmosphere Evans loved to reach for.

Even in full orchestra, the quartet is never overwhelmed. The luscious arrangement of "Blue In Green" plays off of the contrasts of lightness and dark, the orchestra a pastoral landscape for the quartet to rollick. The tricky "Twelve Tone Tune Two" pushes the orchestra into a challenging interchange with La Barbera's drums and the coughing horn of Robinson. At the center of this gorgeous evening is the stalwart bass of Wind, the infrastructure upon which both a quartet and a very large orchestra is held by his passionate zeal.

Track Listing: Turn Out The Stars; My Foolish Heart; The Days Of Wine And Roses; Jeremy; Memory Of Scotty; Kind Of Bill; Blue In Green; Twelve Tone Tune Two; Goodbye Mr. Evans.

Personnel: Martin Wind: bass; Scott Robinson: tenor saxophone, C melody saxophone; Bill Cunliffe: piano; Joe La Barbera: drums; Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana - Massimo Morganti: conductor.

Title: Turn Out the Stars | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: What If? Music

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