Once More With Feeling Clarinet Virtuosity Of Phil


aec.arbo19347.2 4/10/07 New
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    Once More With Feeling Clarinet Virtuosity Of Phil Arbors

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Review Text Phil Bodner was a very busy musician during his long career, playing various reed instruments on all types of recording sessions, though he may be best recognized in the world of jazz for his contributions on clarinet. Relatively few releases have been under his name, so that is why this collection of unreleased tracks from the 1960s and '70s adds to his legacy. Bodner plays clarinet exclusively throughout the disc, and is joined by a number of different groups of musicians. Four tracks feature pianist Hank Jones (who doubtlessly appeared on many sessions alongside Bodner) and drummer Butch Miles, with the highlight being a romp through "Oh, Lady Be Good!," with the leader's inventive solo fueled by Jones' Teddy Wilson-like tenths and Art Tatum-like flourishes. Five duets with master acoustic guitarist Gene Bertoncini are of great interest, as clarinet-acoustic guitar pairings are not commonplace in jazz. Once again, two masters at work make the performances seem effortless, tackling several standards and adding the relatively little-known gem "A Rainy Day." "These Foolish Things" features guitarist Jamie Colpitts, the veteran Canadian bassist Dave Young and drummer Charlie Gougen, wrapped with a breathtaking cadenza by the leader. Milt Hinton takes over as leader on the CD's two live tracks, singing and playing bass on the humorous "Old Man Time" with pianist Dick Hyman and drummer Ron Traxler, likely recorded at a jazz party. Bodner takes the first solo and though Hinton acknowledges trumpeter Joe Wilder's background licks, he is missing from the credits. The same rhythm section also backs Bodner for a delicious take of "Them There Eyes"; Hyman acknowledges the applause and proceeds to reprise the song to give the clarinetist a few more choruses to thrill the audience.The other seven tracks were clearly targeted toward a more middle-of-the road easy listening market during the '60s (sounding like many of the records made for the Command label in this era), with Bodner playing some terrific clarinet over a rather dated rhythm sections featuring Hyman on Lowery organ and electric harpsichord, electric guitarist Al Caiola -- who is stuck playing undemanding licks for the most part -- drummer Bobby Rosengarden (who sadly passed away around the time of this CD's release) and Hinton's always enjoyable bass (which is interesting, as one would have expected a producer to use an electric bassist on such a session). Even if the arrangements may seem a bit corny to jazz fans, concentrating on Bodner will make them of interest. Three other tracks with keyboardist Derek Smith and bass clarinetist Ron Odrich were similarly targeted elsewhere, though they are less memorable, especially the cheesy update of "Tiger Rag." In any case, fans of Phil Bodner will want to pick up this Arbors CD. ~ Ken Dryden

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Oh, Lady Be Good! - 5:15
  2. 2. In a Sentimental Mood - 4:19
  3. 3. I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You - 6:46
  4. 4. Memories of You - 6:13
  5. 5. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea - 4:45
  6. 6. Change Partners - 4:53
  7. 7. Gone with the Wind - 4:37
  8. 8. Rainy Day - 3:22
  9. 9. More Than You Know - 3:24
  10. 10. These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You) - 4:09
  11. 11. Alabama Song - 3:32
  12. 12. Bei Mir Bist du Schoen - 3:51
  13. 13. Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise - 2:22
  14. 14. Hanky Panky - 2:24
  15. 15. Old Man Time - 4:56
  16. 16. In a Little Spanish Town - 3:23
  17. 17. Those Sunday Blues - 4:06
  18. 18. Tiger Rag - 5:32
  19. 19. Them There Eyes - 6:40

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