Cincinnati Babyhead

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Jazz Record : Frank Wess – Opus In Swing

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Here’s a record CB got into when he was expanding his music mind. I had another Frank Wess recording where he was playing sax. I liked that one so I took a chance on this. Really not much of a chance. When you’re dealing with musicians of this caliber you’re pretty safe. What caught my eye (and later my ear) was Wess exchanged the sax for the flute. Jazz flute? Yeah and it works just fine in fact it swings and is a treat.

Wess gathers together the right players for this session. Funny thing is you have a bopper like Kenny Clarke on drums swinging with the rest of the band and man do they swing. This music is guaranteed to put you in a good mood. Clarke and Eddie Jones supply the beat for the others to do their thing.

 

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Kenny Burrell and Freddie Green take turns on the guitar and sound just fine. I would have been happy just with their playing. The kick for CB with this record is Wess’ work. I’d never heard anything like it and was completely taken in. I’d heard flute work on other recordings I had but this is an album featuring the instrument and it holds up just fine. The interplay between the guitars and the flute gives a very good sound to my ear. Who would have thought I’d be diggin flute music when I started my musical journey? A real nice fit to my music pile.

This music swings and does not hurt the ear. It’s light and breezy without sounding schmaltzy. It has style ala Django/Grappelli and will have you whistling, smiling and chillin. So whatever kind of musical device you have give yourself some ‘Opus In Swing’ therapy, you’ll feel better for it. Recommended for sure.

 

 

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17 comments on “Jazz Record : Frank Wess – Opus In Swing

  1. Yeah, Another Blogger
    December 1, 2019

    The fact that you like jazz flute shows that you have big ears!

    Do you like Dolphy’s flute playing?

    Liked by 2 people

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 1, 2019

      I’m all “ears” Neil.
      Yes I like Dolphy’s playing. I think the first time I heard the flute in this music we listen to was Johnny Almond on Mayall’s Turning Point.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Jim S.
    December 1, 2019

    Hey, now. This doesn’t sound anything like Jethro Tull. I had to go to YouTube to find this one, not on Spotify. He gives a lot of space to the great Kenny Burrell. Diggin’ it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 1, 2019

      Kenny Burrell? No kidding. He has so much quality stuff out there. I figured a guitar guy like you would be on that one. He’ll be getting his own take one day. “Midnight Blue’ is a good one. Like I said on your Tixier take. These guys just liked getting together and making cool music. Good for us.
      Funny that I have this one on my Spotify. You Yanks are getting ripped off.
      I think this one would sound good cruising in the vehicle with.

      Like

  3. Jim S.
    December 2, 2019

    Back when I first got into seriously studying guitar, I wanted my teacher to just sho me rock stuff. But he challenged me and got me to listen to Burrell, Herb Ellis, Pat Martino, John Scofield, Django Reinhardt, Joe Pass – guys like that. I never really tried to play like them because my heart was (and is) more into the blues and rock guys. And to this day I tend to listen to a lot more jazz than I play, partially because of chops, but as much because electric guitar to me is just more exciting on the rock side.

    The perfect combination of those styles is what the Steely Dan guitarists accomplished. Larry Carlton’s two solos on “Kid Charlemagne” are a perfect example of a jazzer playing exciting rock with a jazz feel. BTW, this post reminded me of an album I still have from that time, Great Guitars with Herb Ellis, Charlie Byrd, and Barney Kessel. Have to dig that one out of mothballs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 2, 2019

      Good stuff Doc. I like ll those guys you mentioned. Their stuff is always good but sometimes it just sounds fantastic.
      Steely Dan might have set the table for me. I also have that ‘Great Guitars”. I think there might even be a couple volumes. Irelly do get lost in that stuff. Of course you are the Fifth Beatle. I heard Wes Montgomery do his take on ‘A Day In The Life’. Kinda cool in it’s own way.
      Back to those guitarists. I think Oscar Peterson (good Canadian kid) exposed me to a couple of them

      Like

      • Jim S.
        December 2, 2019

        Where is my Fifth Beatle OBE? Sir Doc, Lord of Music Enthusiasts, Duke of Earl Grey tea.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 2, 2019

        Like Randy Newman said “Whatever happened to the fucking Duke Of Earl?”

        Like

      • Jim S.
        December 2, 2019

        Or as Bobby Pickett said, “Whatever happened to the Transylvania Twist?”

        Liked by 1 person

  4. J.
    December 2, 2019

    Sounded intriguing, but got me with your last paragraph- anything that has a Django and Grappelli vibe interests me. It was my pal Mister Smith that turned me onto those two when we were crate digging one lunch time. I eventually grabbed a really garish looking compilation (Gypsy Jazz) when I saw it for a couple of quid. Delightful stuff.

    Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah, I’m intrigued by a jazz flute LP. Wee bit different to the other jazz stuff I’ve been listening to of late (mostly sax, trumpet, or drums).

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 2, 2019

      A few of the guys like Wess went back and forth with the sax/flute. Bottom line it’s quality music played by good musicians. Question is does it catch the ear? In my case yes. I have a Oscar Peterson/ Grappelli record in the works for a take. Just love the whole vibe this music gives. Puts me in a good mood. I would have snapped that ‘Gypsy Jazz’ album up in a heartbeat. We are similar in our eclectiveness. Mix the music up. Keeps things fresh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        December 3, 2019

        There’s a very different vibe to the other jazz stuff I like and, as you say, the bottom line is that it’s good stuff. Definitely vibes I dig.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 3, 2019

        From the hard blowing Coltrane to the lighter touch of Grappelli, I’m in.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. 1537
    December 2, 2019

    Jazz flute? Has to be Charles Lloyd for me.

    Like

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 2, 2019

      Yes on the Lloyd. A few of these guys did the sax/flute thing. Yusef Lateef is another one. I bust out his ‘The Blues Of Yusef Lateef’ quite regular. Like J you do swing between the poles with your listening.

      Like

      • 1537
        December 2, 2019

        My mum loves Lloyd’s Forest Flower LP, that’s how I know it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 2, 2019

        “Mum”. That’s what I figured. ‘Waves’ is where I came in. His current music is really good. These guys have no off button with musical ideas. catchgrooove gave me a nudge to it.

        Like

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This entry was posted on December 1, 2019 by in 1956 Album, Frank Wess, Jazz, Opus In Swing and tagged , , , .

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