Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Frank WESS - Flute Of The Loom 1973
Frank Wess tries to join the funky flute crowd of the 70's by joining forces with a Muscle Shoals group of rhythm players to reach a deep Stax-like instrumental sound. It almost works, but not entirely, because the overall sound is pretty soft. The record's nice and cheap, so you can decide for yourself how the session came out. Tracks include "Arundelle", "You Are Everything", "Flowers", and "I Know What's On Your Mind".
From Dusty Groove.
Wess’s two Enterprise albums is a less comfortable mix than the previous album of orchestrated jazz (not present earlier) with some all-out funk. This one is also said to have originated in Memphis, and much of it may very well have been recorded at the same time as the first album. Here, Wess contributes more of his own compositions and Chico O’Farrill, Jimmy Roach and Rudy Robinson are listed as providing the varying arrangements. The album is more overtly orchestral than before and the program isn’t as seemingly familiar as the previous Wess album. But the orchestral embellishments which pervade the record, while never particularly obtrusive, are not really necessary or that pleasing either. While Wess displays his typical prowess throughout, not too much of interest results. Curiously, despite the album’s not-too-flattering pun, Wess reverts to sax on three numbers, his own “Arundelle,” the variously titled “Flowers”/”Fading Flowers” and the standard, “When I Fall In Love.” Again, none of the participating musicians are named but a guitarist is nicely featured on Wess’s “Trezia” and “Arundelle” and vibes are heard to solo on “Wade in the Water.” The highlights here are more minimal than before and include “Get on Board (The Train Is Coming),” the funky “Wade in the Water” (which would fit perfectly on Wess To Memphis) and “I Know What’s On Your Mind,” with expert string and horn work that Gary McFarland would have provided had he lived that long and thumping great Chuck Rainey-like bass work. It just goes to show that great playing, which Frank Wess delivers in spades here, does not necessarily add up to a great album, which is something Flute of the Loom is not.
Frank Wess- (Flute, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax),
Ted Dunbar- (Guitar),
Don Davis, Chico O'Farrill, Jimmy Roach, Rudy Robinson
A1 Get on Board (The Train Is Coming)
A2 Red Roses
A5 When I Fall in Love
B1 Wade in the Water (Traditional)
B2 You Are Everything
B4 I Know What's on Your Mind
B5 (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay