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Reunion At Arbors

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Album Review

Although this CD was released under the co-leadership of Bob Wilber and Kenny Davern, in reality it was an augmented version of Soprano Reunion, an outgrowth of Soprano Summit. Magic always seems to occur when Wilber (heard on soprano and clarinet) and clarinetist Davern team up, and that was certainly the case in this meeting with guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli (also heard in top form), pianist Dave Frishberg, bassist Bob Haggart, and drummer Ed Metz, Jr. There have been few hotter versions of such warhorses as "Cherry" and the unpromising "Sentimental Journey" as these. Davern takes "I Want a Little Girl" as his feature (liberally quoting Lester Young's famous recorded clarinet solo); Wilber introduces his ballad "Dear Sidney"; and they romp together on "Who's Sorry Now," "The Sheik of Araby," "Sometimes I'm Happy," "I'm Confessin'," and "Arbors Stomp" (based on "Bye Bye Blues"). This is timeless music that is impossible not to enjoy.


Born: 15 March 1928 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Throughout his long career, Bob Wilber has done a lot to keep classic jazz alive. A bit misplaced (most jazz players of his generation were much more interested in bop and hard bop), Wilber (along with Kenny Davern, Ralph Sutton, and Dick Wellstood) was one of the few in his age group to stick to pre-bop music. In high school he formed a band that included Wellstood, and as a teenager he sat in at Jimmy Ryan's club in New York. Early on he became Sidney Bechet's protégé and led his own young group,...
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