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Album Review

For those of you who crave the Larry Young-Grant Green Blue Note sides of the '60s, this should sufficiently whet your appetite. Tenor saxophonist Weiskopf has come up with a winning formula, adding his deft, fluid, literate tenor to the Larry Goldings organ trio; Goldings on Hammond B-3, Peter Bernstein on guitar, and Bill Stewart on drums. The combination is quite likable, Goldings and Bernstein particularly have clearly defined roles which they execute with verve and passion. Weiskopf, 33 years old at the time of this recording, does not display influences on his sleeve, nor does he have a distinctive voice, but his playing is all his own without resorting to copped licks. He's quite good, and wrote all save one of these nine selections. The more urgent numbers are the ones that stand out, because on them, there's not only a shared interest in swinging hard, but a kineticism that seems to flow naturally with uptempos. Hard-bop numbers like "Paradox," and "Dragon Lady" are no-nonsense, mainstream, horn-fired delights. The title track has similar forward motion, but exudes a deeper, soulful feel with devices clearly and originally wrought by Young and Green. The quick waltz "Oceans" shows their adaptability in a more dancing scheme; improvs fly here and there with no hesitation. The steamier waltz "Heads In the Clouds" refers to musical daydreaming, while the lone standard "The Long, Hot Summer" is a light yet resilient, hopeful ballad. As for the blues, the trio offers the extra patient "Immortal Soul," rife with impulse-driven lines from the leader, and the easy swinger "December" with a more animated Weiskopf, especially on his solo. "Mercenary" may be the topper, a modal vehicle on the head with its hard swinging bridge and Bernstein in his element, tossing in bits of Green, Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell, altered to his own style. Stewart is the jazz mercenary here; his workout at the end of the bridge is all you want from a great drummer, and what you always get when he performs live. It would be nice if Weiskopf would explore this format even further. Though he does many other types of mainstream and modern jazz with different groups (his own and others), he seems to be quite comfortable with this band, who stand on their own. Weiskopf's tenor is a cool cherry on top. Recommended. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

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A World Away, Walt Weiskopf Quartet
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  • 8,91 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 21 December 1993

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