153

The Phil Norman Tentet: Yesterday's Gardenias

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Phil Norman Tentet: Yesterday's Gardenias The Phil Norman Tentet’s debut, On the Town,, recorded in 1996 and released last year, was such an unqualified success that living up to it posed an immense challenge. If the ensemble’s second endeavor, Yesterday’s Gardenia’s, doesn’t quite scale the Olympian heights reached by On the Town, it climbs so near that one has to applaud and admire the effort as well as the outcome. Since a tentet is not as loose–limbed or unstudied as most smaller detachments nor as brassy or robust as a full–fledged big band, much of its success — or lack thereof — rests on the potency of its arrangements, and it is here that Norman’s group excels with superlative charts by Bob Florence (six), Roger Neumann (five), Tom Kubis and Jackson Stock (one each). While thoroughly up to date, many of them call to mind the groundbreaking era of the ’50s and ’60s, which were a Golden Age for Jazz on the West Coast. Enhancing the image are two compositions by Gerry Mulligan (“Westwood Walk,” “A Ballad”), one apiece by Dave Brubeck (“The Duke”), Henry Mancini (“Dreamsville”) and Bill Russo (“Sweets”), as well as Richard Carpenter’s early Jazz classic, “Walkin’.” Florence wrote the bustling “Nilestones” as a tribute to Jazz deejay Chuck Niles, trumpeter Carl Saunders composed “Prudence” (which is not, as one might anticipate from its name, a ballad), Michel Legrand penned the ballad “I Will Say Goodbye,” and Neumann arranged the title selection, whose melody Norman heard and fell in love with many years ago on an album by baritone saxophonist Serge Chaloff. The disc opens with a snappy reading of Stanley Turrentine’s “Sugar” and closes with two well–known works, Jimmy Forrest’s “Night Train” and Thad Jones’ “A Child Is Born” (part of a medley with Johnny Mandel’s “Just a Child”). There have been a few personnel changes since On the Town,, but the newcomers — trombonist Martin for Bob McChesney, alto Higgins for Charles Oreña, baritone Neumann for Bob Efford, trumpeter Graham sitting in for Saunders on half a dozen tracks — don’t reduce the session’s impressive stature even one iota. Everyone including the leader has a chance to blow, and everyone makes the most of the opportunity. Agreeable as the solos are, however, it is the consistently colorful ensemble that walks away with topmost honors, which is as it should be. An admirable second time at bat for Norman’s all–star tentet.

Track listing: Sugar; Westwood Walk; The Duke; Prudence; I Will Say Goodbye; Walkin’; Nilestones; Dreamsville; Yesterday’s Gardenias; A Ballad; Sweets; Night Train; A Child Is Born; Just a Child (65:47).


Personnel:

Carl Saunders (3, 4, 6, 9

Title: Yesterday's Gardenias | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Sea Breeze Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Attic CD/LP/Track Review The Attic
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Outside The Comfort Zone CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read # 1 CD/LP/Track Review # 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Tetrawind CD/LP/Track Review Tetrawind
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Triplicate CD/LP/Track Review Triplicate
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "Shock Axis" CD/LP/Track Review Shock Axis
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Persuasion" CD/LP/Track Review Persuasion
by Jeff Winbush
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Split Kick - Live In Sweden 1972" CD/LP/Track Review Split Kick - Live In Sweden 1972
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 14, 2016
Read "Ignacio" CD/LP/Track Review Ignacio
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Hush Point III" CD/LP/Track Review Hush Point III
by Budd Kopman
Published: January 8, 2017
Read "14.11.2016" CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!