Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Walt Weiskopf's Quartet Captured Live and Fired Up

Walt Weiskopf occupies a place among the very best but perhaps lesser-known post-Trane tenors. That does not mean that he (or the others) sound like Trane in a direct way. They just have an essential quality to their playing that has some of the Trane hardness, speed of inventive thought and intensity.

There's his first live album, called rather appropriately Live (Capri 74109-2), that's been out a few months. It was recorded at the University of South Carolina in 2008, well-recorded. The quartet is a good one: Paul Gill, bass, and Tony Reedus, drums, give it that fired-up swing that make it all work. Pianist Renee Rosnes has a sort of Herbie Hancockian flair to her pianism that has gotten individually distinct over the years and she shows herself to be inspired on this one. Then of course there is Walt, sounding quite excellent. Other than Cole Porter's "Love for Sale" and Oscar Levant's under-recorded "Blame It On My Youth," this is a set of Weiskopf originals. They have the nice changes, heads that sing their way into the solos, a good kick start for whatever blowing is to be done. And there is good blowing. 70 minutes of the group going at it make for a good picture of what they are about.

Good, hard-edged, torrid nubop. Get it and you'll have an excellent Weiskopf album in your collection.

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