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Business Man's Bounce

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Album Review

Bill Easley has an extensive résumé as a sideman, but has led relatively few record dates of his own during his long career. But this excellent disc ought to open up more recording opportunities for him. With a potent rhythm section comprised of pianist Larry Ham, bassist Hassan JJ Shakur, and veteran drummer Michael Carvin (the latter a strong leader in his own right), the tenor saxophonist explores familiar material from a wide background in new avenues. His boisterous R&B-flavored take of Nat King Cole's "Straighten Up and Fly Right" features his gritty tenor and some comical spoken asides in spots. The Off Broadway Woodwind Ensemble add a lush background of reeds to several tracks, including a gorgeous rendition of "September Song," and provide additional color to the snappy setting of Randy Weston's "Hi Fly." "Chelsea Bridge" falls into a rut on many record dates, but Easley's breezy approach with a Latin undercurrent gives it a fresh sound. The leader is equally enjoyable soloing on clarinet (while overdubbing his tenor), playing a classic jazz gem like W.C. Handy's "Memphis Blues" that would find him at home with any traditional jazz band; cornetist Warren Vaché is a special guest and he provides the perfect foil for Easley. Finally, with the addition of fellow tenorist Frank Wess on Easley's cooking "Mentor," the quartet sounds like a much larger ensemble with the two full-bodied tenor players. Highly recommended.

Biography

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

An extremely versatile and gifted reed player, Bill Easley's displayed a polished, forceful sound on alto, tenor and baritone saxophones; flute; and clarinet. He attended Memphis State University during the '60s, and later worked with Isaac Hayes and did sessions at Stax. Easley moved back to New York and has recorded sessions for Sunnyside and Milestone. He's played with Sir Roland Hanna, James Williams, Bill...
Full bio
Business Man's Bounce, Bill Easley
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: 04 September 2007

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