Businessman Bounce (Jewl)


aec.swrd68017.2 3/18/16 New

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    Businessman Bounce (Jewl) American Showplace Music / Clay Pasternack

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Review Text 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. ~ Ken Dryden

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Straighten Up and Fly Right - 4:42
  2. 2. Mentor - 6:54
  3. 3. September Song - 5:56
  4. 4. Chelsea Bridge - 6:45
  5. 5. In the Still of the Night - 5:58
  6. 6. Hi Fly - 5:09
  7. 7. Memphis Blues - 6:07
  8. 8. Spring Is Here - 6:45
  9. 9. Indian Summer - 5:27
  10. 10. Anthropology - 4:23
  11. 11. Just in Time - 5:32

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